The pink dot

Do you have that little pink dot on your driver’s license?

Or maybe in Utah and New York they’re blue, but I mean the thing that alerts hospitals that you are willing to donate your organs, should you be in a condition that they’re not a whole lot of use to you any more.

Barbara Seranella just died, a fine writer and great woman, with a wicked sense of humor and a bum liver. More great women, and men, and children, will die because not enough people are willing to put that pink dot on their driver’s license. MJ Rose blogs today about this, joining me in hoping others might be willing to sign their little donor card and be cremated with a couple of bits missing.

The link is (I’ve given the address for those of you whose computers don’t read my links.) There’s a little card you can print off and carry around, and a list of frequently asked questions to settle your mind.

Do this now. I’ll wait.

Thank you.

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  1. Anonymous on January 25, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    I’ve got a little red heart in Washington. Thanks for posting this, Laurie, it’s so important!

  2. WDI on January 25, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    I’ve got a little red heart here in VA, too. One thing to think about, if you’re willing to be a donor, is preparing your family and friends and really discussing your wishes with them. When my Dad passed (very suddenly from a massive stroke) my mother was unprepared to make decisions about organ donation, especially when she was told that she would have to leave Dad on a respirator for a number of hours before his organs could be harvested. I don’t blame her for declining. The only one of us with the capacity to deal with that situation (my sister, a nurse) was 3000 miles away; the rest of us were in shock.

    After that, I made sure to make my wishes abundantly clear to my loved ones. I want anything useful to be used, no matter how long it takes, and I don’t expect them to hang around watching over me in the interim. Really, it’s OK.

  3. Erika on January 25, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Hopefully no one will have to take it into consideration for a good long while, but I’ve got my little pink dot. Thanks for blogging about this. It’s a small thing that people don’t really think about, until someone is in need.

  4. Wimindance on January 25, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    It’s a little red heart in New Mexico too. And I’ve had one my license for a very long time.

    Thanks for reminding us about this Laurie.

  5. Roxanne on January 25, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    my driver’s license (Pennsylvania) has “organ donor” printed in green lettering under my lovely photo. And I have told my dsughter to make sure that, when I no longer need them, the doctors harvest everything they can from me. Kind of a nice thought–being in service long after you are “gone”…

  6. Anonymous on January 25, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    In Ohio we have a red heart with the shape of the state cut out of the middle. It is a small but mighty symbol!

  7. Emily on January 25, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    My father had a kidney transplant 17 years ago. He was able to have a live donor (his brother), but it could very well have been different. My whole family have “donor” written on our cards. How could we not, when we see our dad every day?

  8. 2maple on January 26, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Maine (and my license) has a little red heart too. Never had a question or a doubt.

    After my father had a heart attack followed by a severe stroke ~15 years ago, it was the wake-up call for my whole family to get their ducks in order…not only this, but things like living wills too, and making sure it was clear to everyone what our wishes were. This means understanding the significance of seemingly unrelated decisions like putting in a feeding tube might mean complete loss of control over implementing your loved ones decisions because of the difficulties involved in getting it removed when shock changes to understanding and you decide it’s time to let go.

  9. Mary on January 26, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    I believe it is only around 10% of those on the liver waiting list that receive a donor liver before they die. My sister was one of the 90% who died before she could receive a liver. Thanks Laurie for reminding folks to about this so very important issue.

  10. Maria on January 26, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    I don’t qualify 🙁 . I have a collagen defect, so my organs are not the best for donating. They are slightly defective in that manner.

    It is good to know that there are many of you out there that can do so.

  11. L. Crampton, LAc on January 26, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    2Maple, thanks for sharing your wisdom on having one’s ducks in order. Against our mother’s wishes, thinking we could buy her some time to recover, we insisted on a feeding tube. In only a few weeks, we were faced with the decision of whether to remove it and hasten her departure, or leave it in and see her through an extended process of fading from life. We chose the latter, in part because of paralysis in the face of what it meant to remove it; but only our remarkable mother’s grace, forgiveness and incredible spirit made the next three months bearable. Best to know what you’re committing to before the deed is done!

  12. Poodlerat on January 27, 2007 at 12:55 am

    In Canada it’s a little black box on the back of your health card which says:

    “Donor • Z9 • Donneur”

    My mother had cancer and was ineligible, but she encouraged me to check the organ donor option when I turned 18.

  13. Anonymous on January 28, 2007 at 1:37 am

    They’re orange here in Wisconsin!

  14. Anonymous on January 28, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    A very good friend of mine is alive, well, and here to welcome her first grandbaby because a family dontated organs of their son over 20 years ago. They requested, and received a letter from her (via the MD)telling about her life. It meant a lot to them to hear that a part of their son helped a person who had no future until his death. And that’s the best part of organ donation.

  15. KLCtheBookWorm on February 1, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    Red heart in Louisiana. And I have been signed up since I started driving. I do need to do the living will stuff and make sure everyone understands.

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