April 06, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Physician Leadership Professional Development & Education
Last week, California Medical Association member, Ester C. Kwok, M.D., an internist in Los Gatos, was honored in the California State Assembly for a selfless kidney in a 12-person organ donation chain that saved the life of her elderly patient’s son.
"A wife and the mother of four children," the resolution reads. "Dr. Kwok realized when first considering kidney donation that such an act defied her deeply held religious and cultural beliefs; yet in a remarkable testament to her personal fortitude and selflessness, through prayer-guided reflection and her innate generosity of spirit, she came to see organ donation as an act of love that would improve the lives of others. She changed her beliefs regarding donation and also has chosen to be an organ donor when she dies."
The resolution comes during national Donate Life Month, which is recongized every April. In honor of Donate Life Month, the California Medical Association (CMA) and the CMA Foundation are encouraging physicians to talk to their patients about the importance of organ and tissue donation, particularly in underserved ethnic communities.
"22,000 people in California struggle each day waiting for a life-saving transplant – waiting for the call that someone, a hero, has selflessly and generously given the gift of life," says Eric Burch, Donate Life California CEO. "Sadly, too many never get that call. Be someone’s hero. Register to be an organ donor today."
Donate Life California is the state authorized nonprofit organization responsible for managing California's Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. The registry is a confidential database of donation wishes to be carried out at the time of death.
What you can do:
- Visit the Donate Life California website, www.donatelifecalifornia.org and sign up to become a donor yourself, if you haven't already done so. If you already registered via the Department of Motor Vehicles, you can also access/update your registry data.
- Educate patients about the benefits of becoming a donor. Talk to them about the lifesaving importance of organ and tissue donation and encourage them to register to become an organ donor at www.donatelifecalifornia.org.
Visit www.donatelifecalifornia.org for more information on how you can get involved.