Would You Save The Life Of A Stranger?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Would you do something to help somebody else, somebody you don't even know?

Submitted: January 14, 2015

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Submitted: January 14, 2015



Spending less than an hour donating only 470ml of blood could save someone’s life. You should give up something that your body can easily replace. Human beings produce around two million red blood cells every second. To be eligible to give blood all you only need to ensure you meet certain height and weight requirements. These include being between the ages of seventeen and sixty-five and weighing at least fifty kilograms. You also must follow stricter guidelines if you are under the height of 5ft2. You also need to have enough blood volume for it to be safe for you to donate which means you need at least 3500ml of blood in your body. This value seems high due to the fact that when the 470ml is removed your body can still function normally while it replaces the red blood cells.


Giving blood is a simple process. You enter the centre, read some leaflets and fill in a health check questionnaire. You finger is pricked and a small sample of blood is taken and tested for haemoglobin – the chemical substance that aids the transport of oxygen around the body. This is to check if donating blood could make you anaemic. After this, a needle is put into the vein in your arm and the blood is taken. That is all you have to do. You are made comfortable in a chair and simply relax while the blood is taken from you. It is easy and free to do. Why wouldn’t you do it?


Men could be donating blood every twelve weeks and women could donate every sixteen weeks. However, the NHS state that only about 4% of the population donate blood regularly. Not enough people are giving blood but how can you donate if there is an extensive list of things that are seen as 'unhealthy' and would make the blood dangerous to give to other people?

You are unable to donate blood if any of the following things are true; you have a chesty cough, sore throat or active cold sore, you are on antibiotics or you have recently had an infection or you have had a piercing or tattoo in the last four months. If a member of your close family suffers from CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease), you have had major surgery in the past, you are pregnant, you have ever had syphilis, HTLC, HIV or hepatitis C, you have ever worked as a prostitute or you have taken drugs, then you are prevented from donating blood. The list goes on.


What incentive do people have to give blood if they know how complex the requirements for it are? Many people will turn you down. Having to go through lots of time consuming tests to see if your blood will be good enough will lead many people to decide not to bother. Somebody else can do it instead. Even if you wanted to do it, the local centres are only open on certain, specific days. Some people will not be able to attend on that particular day. If you have to work, or have to look after your family, for example. Centres can’t fit to everyone’s personal needs and be open on days where you are free. You have to drop all of your plans and commitments to visit the centre. Clinic times are quite specific and therefore restrictive.


A similar issue to donating blood is being an organ donor. Being an organ donator could also save somebody’s life. So why don’t more people do it? The surgery might momentarily hurt you. So what? You might be in a little bit of pain but you would be saving the life of another human being and there is no better feeling than that. It gives you a sense of self-satisfaction, you are giving something back to someone, just as you would want someone to do for you if you were in the position where you needed an organ. If you were to donate an organ while you are alive there is a potential risk of infections after the removal surgery. You might die in the process. Would you die for somebody else? If not, then why not donate organs after you have died? You would still be saving a life. You don’t need your organs once you have passed away.


There are many organs that you could donate; kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, bowels, pancreas, corneas, bones, heart valves, tendons and cartilage. Obviously some of these cannot be donated while you are alive. You can live a normal life with only one kidney so you can give up the other one and let doctors use it to save a life. Whether the receiver is young or old, they will cherish the gift you give them. You should let your organs bring joy to other families. Families where the children are possibly going to die without your organs. Why would you not allow a mother more time to spend with her young children?


Kidneys received from a living donor last longer than those donated from deceased donors. Research has shown that kidneys donated from someone who has died; 80-90% of kidneys will still be working after 1 year, 77% will still be working after 5 years and 58% of will still be working after 10 years. However, if the kidney is from a living donor; 95% of kidneys will still be working after 1 year, 84% of kidneys will still be working after 5 years and 66% of kidneys will still be working after 10 years.


The survival rates are also increased for people who receive kidneys from live donors compared to donors who have died. For those who receive kidney transplants from donors who have died; 85% will still be alive five years after the transplant and 61% will still be alive 10 years after the transplant. However, the survival rates of patients who receive kidney transplants from live donors are; 94% will still be alive 5 years after the transplant and 85% will still be alive 10 years after the transplant.


What incentive do you have to risk infection and other health problems to help somebody you don’t even know? They have had no effect on your life. It’s not as if they were a close friend or family member. What would happen if your kidneys were damaged and you needed a replacement? You would be stuck on the NHS waiting list indefinitely until another kidney came available. You might want to keep the second one as a backup. You would wish you had never given up your other kidney. You would be in physically bad health due to you helping somebody else.


Allowing doctors to use your dead body, the organs that you will no longer use, to save a life, should that be mandatory? After all, once you are dead, you have no need for them. It would be pretty selfish to keep them. Why would you burn or bury something that could potentially give the gift life to another person? It’s not going to affect you. You won’t feel anything.

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