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Erin Island


Persuasive Speech

General Purpose: To Persuade

Specific Purpose: I want my audience to plan for organ and tissue donation.

Thesis: Everyone should make plans to ensure the donation of organs/tissues upon death.

Arouse Step

I. I dont have to think about death. Im young. Im healthy. I am invincible.

Nothing bad will happen to my family because bad things only happen to other

people. Have you ever had any of these thoughts?

II. I have. This was the way I felt before June of last year, before my father died.

III. We had a lot to deal with and a lot of decisions to make. The decision of whether or

not to donate my dads organs was especially difficult for my mom.

A. She had just received the biggest shock of her life, and within five minutes she

was on the phone with the hospital making the biggest decision of her life.

B. Fortunately, she told the doctors to proceed with tissue donation, even though

we had never discussed this issue as a family.

IV. About a month later, our family received a letter stating that my dads eyes had been

transplanted into someone else.

A. Although nothing could ever ease the pain of loss, there was a certain relief

knowing that out of this accident, something good could happen.

B. Someone else could wake up every morning and thank our family for their

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V. Nothing can bring my dad back, but nothing can take away the pride I feel because

we were able to help someone else through organ donation.

(Thesis) Today I am proposing that every one of us make plans to ensure the donation of

our organs and tissues after death.

(Preview) I will first explain to you how serious this problem is and the ways that you can

help. Finally, I will illustrate the ways in which you and your family can possibly benefit

from donation in the future.

(Transition) First, lets look at just how serious the shortage is for organ donation.

Need Step

I. The shortage of organs is a serious problem with many contributing factors.

A. First, the lack of education on this subject causes people to miss out on the

opportunity to help others. Many of us are simply misinformed about this

process and mislead by some of the myths concerning organ donation.

1. For example, have you ever heard that if you are in an accident and

the hospital realizes you are an organ donor, then the doctors will not

try as hard to save your life?

a. According to the Donate Life Coalition, this is not true because

a hospitals main concern is always to save lives.

b. The medical team is completely separate from the transplant


c. The transplant team, called the Organ Procurement

Organization, or OPO, is not even notified until death is legally

declared and the family has been contacted.

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2. Others are under the impression that they are not able to donate.

a. For example, have you ever thought that you were too young to

donate your organs? Well, you are not.

b. According to the Department of Health and Human Services,

anyone can indicate their intent to donate organs.

c. There is no age limit whatsoever. Organs from newborns as

well as the elderly are always needed.

i. In 2000, a 13-month old boy named Logan received a

liver transplant from a family that lost their 18-year-old


ii. Little Logan did not make it through the surgery, but his

parents decided to donate one of his healthy organs

his heart.

iii. It was given to a four-month old baby who survived!

(Internal transition) Even if you have doubts about your eligibility, it is worth it to make plans

anyway. If you intend to be a donor, it is critical that you plan properly.

B. Tragically, our shortage of organs is also attributable, in part, to donor error.

Some believe that they have planned properly, but they have not actually done


1. Many feel that by writing their requests in a will, they can ensure

that their wishes will be carried out.

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a. This is not possible, according to the Department of Health and

Human Services, because by the time the will is read, it is too

late to recover the organs.

2. Many times, people wish to have their organs donated, but fail to tell

their family.

a. The Donate Life Coalition reports that telling your family is

vital because it is the next of kin who ultimately give approval

for donation upon death.

3. Not discussing this matter with your family can also cause unneeded

pain for them.

a. During times of death, it is often hard for families to make

these types of decisions.

b. Wouldnt you want your familys decision to be as easy as


c. Wouldnt you also want your family to have comfort in the fact

that they made the right decision in order to carry out your


4. Organ donation can also be a great comfort to families during times

of death.

a. Grief causes many families to question the reason their loved

one passed away.

b. By donating organs, it helps answer that question.

c. It shows families that there is a plan for everyone.

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d. It also acts as a mark of respect to the deceased person.

i. When Kathleen Scott found out about her sons death,

she commented, What greater tribute could we make

in his behalf than for him to become an organ donor.

ii. Sadly, some families do not get the chance to honor

their loved one because they do not understand the

process of organ donation.

(Transition) So as you can see, many factors contribute to our shortage of donated organs. There

are many myths concerning organ donation that stop people from donating. Some simply do not

make the right kind of plans. This can cause much unneeded pain. Obviously, donors and their

families are not the only ones affected. In fact, those in need of healthy organs often suffer most.

II. A lack of donors has been a death sentence for many.

A. St. Louis Post Dispatch writer and organ recipient Greg Freeman made this

point when he wrote, Too many people die needlessly because not enough

people look at organ donation as they might look at recyclingas a way of

reusing something instead of throwing it away. This is very true.

1. As of March 1, 2004, more than 84,000 men, women, and children in

the U.S. were waiting for an organ transplant according to the U.S.

Department of Health and Human Services.

2. The Missouri Hospital Association reports that 1800 Missourians,

alone, are on a waiting list.

a. That means that almost 2000 people in our state are waiting for

an organ today.
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b. In terms of Southeasts population, it would be about 1 in 5


B. The World Almanac and Book of Facts reports that more than 6200 people in

America die due to a lack of donations each year; this means that each day, an

average of 17 people die because they were waiting for someone to save them.

C. It seems strange that so many people are in need considering it is such a

simple process to donate.

1. Did you know that one donor can save up to 8 lives through organ

donation and one donors tissues can save or improve up to 50 lives?

2. Plus, there is no cost to the family to donate.

3. Donating does not interfere with a timely open casket funeral either.

4. If organs are not donated, they go to waste.

a. One St. Louis family understood this concept when they were

faced with a tough decision.

b. Their daughter Amy was hit head on while driving on

Manchester Road.

c. She suffered brain damage and had no chance of survival.

d. Her mother said, Our family had never talked about organ

donation, but my husband and I looked at each other and just

knew it was the right thing to do.

e. If our daughter couldnt live, we would want someone else to

get such healthy organs.

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f. Amy was only seventeen, but she had already donated blood;

and we felt sure that she would want us to do this.

g. This was a truly giving family who chose the right thing to do.

D. Still, this particular problem is growing every year.

1. Each month, 300 names are added to the waiting list in the United


2. This means that approximately every 13 minutes, someone else

awaits an organ which may or may not come in order to save his or

her life.

3. According to Dean F. Kappel, President and CEO of the Mid-

America Transplant Services, in 2002 St. Louis saw the lowest

number of organ donations in over 5 years.

a. In a time when we are supposed to be getting more and more

donations, our states largest city has numbers that are


(Transition) I have just shown you the problems that can occur when people do not make plans to

donate their organs. Now that you completely understand how large this problem is, let me show

you the ways in which you can make a difference.

Gratify Step

III. We each need to take a few precautions to ensure that our wish to be a donor is


A. There are three ways that we can do this.

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1. The first step is the most convenient method to document your


a. Missouris Department of Motor Vehicles makes it easy for us.

b. In Missouri, we are able to indicate our intent on a drivers


c. It is a simple way to record your wishes.

2. The second way to do this is by carrying a donor card.

a. These are easily attainable, especially since they can now be

downloaded on the Internet.

b. They are simple to fill out and only require two witnesses to


3. The final and single most important step you should take involves

discussing this issue with your family.

a. Even if you do not sign a donor card or indicate your

preferences on your license, your family can still donate your

organs if you wish.

b. Often family members are asked to sign a consent form in

order to donate your organs.

c. Upon death, the decision ultimately lies in their hands.

d. If your wishes are made clear to your loved ones, then your

family will make the right decision.

4. For added assurance, you can make copies of your records and then

send them to your health care provider.

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a. This way, your decision is documented in your medical record,

and upon death, those records can act as further proof to aid

your familys decision.

(Transition) Now that you understand the dilemma and the simple ways to prevent and rid the

problem, lets take a look at what can happen based upon your actions.

IV. Each donor makes the world a better place.

A. Imagine what the world will be like if we continue the way we are today.

1. There are so many people waiting for organs to save their lives.

2. There are so many people who die waiting.

3. These numbers are only bound to get larger.

4. The more we let good organs go to waste will mean more of us

dying because of pure negligence.

5. By the time this day is over, 17 people will be dead because they

could not get an organ.

B. Now imagine the difference you could make if only you made plans to donate


1. If something were to happen to you, your family would be able to

make an easier decision because they understand your wishes.

2. You could save up to 8 lives with your organs and you could save or

improve up to 50 lives with your tissues if a tragedy were to occur.

(Transition) After visualizing what the future may look like based upon your decisions, are you

ready to do whatever it takes to save lives?

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Move Step/Conclusion

I. Act now, and you can be a hero.

A. Life is precious for those of us who are waiting for organs as well as those who

think death could not affect them.

B. What better time to make your decision and act upon it?

C. Today download an organ donor card, or better yet, call a relative and discuss

both of your decisions.

D. Even though this is a difficult matter to talk about, you cannot let that stop you.

E. Each one of us must remember that every day we forget or avoid discussing this

issue with our families, some other person may be saying goodbye to theirs.

II. As you leave here today, I challenge you to make plans to donate your organs and


A. Do not let the chance to save someone else slip away.

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Works Cited

Baby Logan. 21 April 2004. <http://www.angelsbyangellady.com/Baby_Logans_Angel_


Find Out How to be an Organ and Tissue Donor. Coalition on Donation. 21 April 2004.


Frequently Asked Questions. Department of Health and Human Services. 14 April 2004.


Kappel, Dean F. Report to the Community from Mid-America Transplant Services. 16 April

2004. <http://www.mts-stl.org>.

Organ and Tissue Donation. Missouri Hospital Association. 15 April 2004.


Organ and Tissue Donation. World Almanac and Book of Facts. Pg 96. Academic Search

Premier EBSCO Host. Kent Library, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. 16 April 2004.


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