I fell in love with science when I was a child. Chemistry and Biology were my favourite subjects in school. At that same time, I came to a realization that life science can have a huge influence on our future.
Organ Donation is the matter of empathy
Everything around us is created from atoms and molecules. I would say, it’s a perfect cooperation, which makes life possible. And as a scientist (or a future scientist, a scientist in the making as I am still a student), I see the preciousness in these small things. We are surrounded by facts waiting to be found, waiting for us to discover them. Isn’t that amazing?
For me, it’s the best adventure that can exist.
After high school, I decided to study molecular medicine.
The main motivation behind this choice of studies was empathy. I felt it towards people with different diseases, empathy particularly kindled through my uncle’s kidney disease. I saw the suffering from various diseases, and how these situations affect families.
My cousin saved my uncle’s life. After the doctors said that my aunt could not be a kidney donor for my uncle, her son, my cousin, decided to test for a donor. Through a transplantation, both my uncle and cousin now live a totally normal life. Before that, my uncle was supposed to go to the hospital every second or third day for dialysis. Although it may not sound like such a big deal at first, this is a life of many limitations.
These are some examples of how a disease affects a person’s life:
- Going on a holiday when you want and where you want is not really possible.
- Planning things like other people is a challenge
- You are dependent on the hospital and the doctors all the time.
- And with all that, you need a good mental state to endure all this healing process.
Some people are waiting for an organ donation for many years.
Many of them do not receive a transplant. It is my firm belief, that this should not be the case in the 21st century.
Religion is not an argument against organ donation
When I discuss these topics with others, I notice that people are not knowledgeable enough. The attitude they have is not supported by credible evidence. And because of this lack of knowledge, they use religion as their main argument against organ donation, without really knowing what their religion allows. You see, I am a roman catholic and I looked into this topic. I can say something about what the Catholic Church says about organ donation.
Saint pope John Paul II. for me is one of the most inspiring people who ever lived. He said in his encyclical “Evangelium vitae”. There is an everyday heroism, made up of gestures of sharing, big or small, which build up an authentic culture of life. A particularly praiseworthy example of such gestures is the donation of organs, performed in an ethically acceptable manner, with a view to offering a chance of health. It is a gift of life itself to the sick who sometimes have no other hope. Based on his words, we can conclude that one of the main tasks of the Church is to encourage acts of kindness and compassion. And one of these acts is organ donation.
There are a lot of arguments for becoming an organ donor
There are a lot of arguments for becoming an organ donor, but empathy is, in my opinion, the best reason. People don’t think about the fact that that they could become ill, and that they could need help in the sense of organ donation. None of us knows when our lives will end, but everybody knows that they want to remain in a beautiful and positive memory. And saving someone’s life certainly leaves a wonderful mark in our society.
When our life ends, our organs could make other lives go on.
To be a part of this process of changing all these things, I decided that I will work in research. And until this can happen, I encourage people to become organ donors, to get organ donor cards. My main message is: When our life ends, our organs could make other lives go on.
If you are interested to make a donor card, transplantation organizations are available in every country. Don’t be scared. Don’t be discouraged.
Be a change in the world!
About the Author
Mateo Markovic is a Viennese master’s student of Molecular Medicine. He moved to Austria from Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2016, where half a year ago he obtained his BSc degree in genetics and microbiology. In his free time, he likes to volunteer in different social projects. After his studies, he wants his work to contribute to creating a better and safer world as well as true and authentic science.
Mateo’s words on multiculturalism: Every person is unique! Everyone has a special talent and is a big gift to this world. We should encourage people in our environment to live their authenticity and to share their talents, to create a world of more humanity and empathy.