Need for Organ Donation
According to the Organ Network for Organ Sharing, in the 1990s the number of people waiting for an organ transplant rose more than five times as fast as the number of transplants performed. In 1999, 6,125 people died while on the waiting list for an organ.
The difficulty of organ donation is that grieving families often don't know whether their deceased loved one intended to be an organ donor. They're reluctant to allow organs to be harvested. And healthcare professionals are often uncomfortable about bringing the subject up when families are distraught.
If you want to be an organ donor, you can make things easy for everybody if you indicate your preference when you renew your driver's license. All it takes is checking a box.
Source: United Network for Organ Sharing, March 2002
There are two important things you should know about getting treated for STDs:
- Almost all STDs can be treated, and the ones caused by bacteria (gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia) are almost always cured by antibiotics.
- It's important to take medication exactly the way your doctor prescribed it. Even if you start to feel better, you still need to take your medication as long as recommended.
Getting treatment for an STD won't protect you from catching it again in the future.
Source: A. Buyers. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Enslow Publishers, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, 1999.
No Healthy Cigarettes
There's no such thing as a healthy cigarette. Advertisers try to fool people by claiming a new cigarette has health benefits, but don't believe them. Smoking increases your risk for cancer. It's a pretty safe bet that any product you light up and inhale isn't doing you any good.
Quitting smoking reduces your risk of getting cancer of the lung, larynx (voice box), pharynx, esophagus, mouth, bladder, pancreas and cervix. Your doctor can help you find a way to quit if you've been having trouble quitting on your own.
Source: American Cancer Society
A lot of us forget that counseling can help us learn to make better life choices, communicate more effectively, change destructive habits, or address serious issues like
- Anxiety or depression
- Family and relationship issues
- Sexual abuse and domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Career change and job stress
Getting help from a trained, objective professional can make a big difference in your life.
Most health plans cover counseling, so be sure to investigate this option when you feel like you could use some help.
Vaccines: Benefits over Risks
Some parents worry that vaccinations put their children at risk of developing serious side effects. They reassure themselves that since most children are vaccinated, their own child isn't likely to become ill. But it takes only one infected child to start an outbreak of illness.
Recently, there have been new outbreaks of pertussis, also known as whooping cough. This is directly related to parents' decisions not to vaccinate their children.
The viruses and bacteria that cause the illnesses that vaccines prevent still exist. Deciding not to vaccinate puts a child at risk of developing one of these life-threatening diseases. The benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risks. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advises parents to follow their recommended vaccine schedule.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics; Centers for Disease Control., March 2002