One flew over

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When I got my US driving license, I was asked whether or not I would like to be an organ donor. To me, having seen the positive effects of donation on the lives of my patients down through the years, the obvious answer was yes. However, it is good to be reminded every now and then how difficult it can be for families to agree to donation.

Letters of Note is a blog that collects letters from around the world and throughout history on all kinds of topics. Today’s letter is from Ken Kesey, the author of “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”, which he wrote to his friends following the death of his son in a bus accident in 1984. He describes the process of deciding to donate his son’s organs and how the whole family was there to say goodbye. For this family, at least, it was a positive experience that gave some meaning to the tragedy.

It reminds me that, although we should always encourage people to donate, we should never take it for granted when they do, and we should never look badly those who feel, for any reason, that they cannot.

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