Mackinac Center President to Assist Effort to Save Lives Lost to Organ Shortage
Tuesday, August 5, 2003
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Aug. 5, 2003 – Lawrence W. Reed, President of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, has agreed to serve as an advisor to LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors that offers members preferred access to the organs of fellow members. It was launched last year to help alleviate the shortage of human organs and tissue needed for transplant operations. That shortage kills over 6,000 Americans every year.
"The organ shortage isn’t a problem of too few people dying with recoverable organs. It’s because too few people agree to donate their organs in the first place," says Mr. Reed. "More than simple goodwill is required to increase organ donation. The time is long overdue to supplement the charitable impulse to donate organs with an incentive, and LifeSharers does just that."
LifeSharers agree to donate their organs when they die, and they direct that their organs be given first to other LifeSharers members. Non-members can have their organs if no member is a suitable match. By giving fellow members preferred access to their organs, LifeSharers members reward organ donors and create an incentive for others to become donors.
According to David J. Undis, Executive Director of LifeSharers, "Giving organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs will cause more people to sign donor cards. More donors means more lives saved."
There has been a shortage of organs ever since the first transplant operations, and the shortage is getting worse every year. According to statistics compiled by the United Network for Organ Sharing, over 82,000 Americans are now on a waiting list for an organ transplant, and another name gets added to the list about every 14 minutes. More than half the people on the waiting list will die before they receive an organ. Somebody on the waiting list dies about every 90 minutes.
"A free and civil society encourages compassion through incentives and the natural goodwill of caring, future-focused individuals," says Mr. Reed. "Getting involved with LifeSharers helps advance a great idea, solve a pressing need, and save lives, all in a way that is in perfect harmony with the principles of liberty and responsibility."
"By lending us his expertise and assistance, Larry will help LifeSharers attract members faster, reduce the organ shortage faster, and save lives," says Mr. Undis.
LifeSharers membership is free and open to all at http://www.lifesharers.com.
ABOUT LAWRENCE W. REED
Lawrence W. (Larry) Reed is President of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Michigan-based research and educational institute. Complete biographical information on Mr. Reed is available at http://www.mackinac.org/bio.aspx?ID=3
LifeSharers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit network of organ donors. Membership in LifeSharers is free and open to all. Since its launch on May 22, 2002, LifeSharers has attracted 1,438 members in 48 states and the District of Columbia. The LifeSharers web site is at http://www.lifesharers.com.
Contact: David J. Undis, 615/356-3918 or 615/351-8622 firstname.lastname@example.org