April 10, 2009

Organ donation awareness event set

Organ donation awareness event set

The Vanderbilt Transplant Center and Tennessee Donor Services will host Donate Life Vanderbilt from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 15, in front of Eskind Biomedical Library. Faculty, staff and visitors will be encouraged to register to become organ, tissue and marrow donors.

Organ donation champions at Vanderbilt hope the event is a call to action.

“The question I would like to ask the general public, if I had a chance, would be, 'If you were sick and needed a kidney would you accept a transplant?' Most of them would say yes,” said Clifford Lee Parmley, M.D., J.D., director of Critical Care Medicine.

“If you are willing to accept an organ, then you should be willing to give.”
Parmley admits these decisions are not always easy because they often revolve around dying.

“Many people avoid executing a will because it requires thoughts that are unpleasant,” he said. “But everyone's life comes to an end at some point, so why not do some planning that would be of benefit to your heirs, family and the public?”

Not all donations require end-of-life circumstances, something organizers hope proves helpful when educating the community.

The group will launch an electronic survey on April 15 about the donation process. All Vanderbilt employees are encouraged to complete the 10-question survey. Participants will be entered into a grand prize drawing.