let’s celebrate organ donation

Can a simple idea help make the world a better place? Each week, the BBC World Service asks a guest to outline an idea to improve all our lives. Here, medical historian Ruth Richardson suggests that we should recognise those who donate their organs with a special day.

We should celebrate bodily donation.

I don’t mean just whole body donation for dissection, but every form of it.

Blood donation, bone, bone marrow, kidneys, eyes, egg, and sperm – organs after death.

We in Britain are very good at celebrating the war dead with great big demonstrations of military might and mourning round the cenotaph.But what I’m thinking of is a much more informal type of celebration, which would be a sort of thanksgiving for the decency and compassion of individuals who have gone to donate their blood; those who have died and left organs for transplant and corneas for eyesight.

This sort of celebration would raise the whole profile of bodily generosity in the public agenda internationally.

I think it would be a marvellous thing for the general public to see how many people have benefitted.

So I propose an international donors and recipients day.

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