WHEREAS, as of April 2003 there are over 80,000 people waiting for organ transplants on the national waiting list and someone die every sixteen minutes while waiting for a transplant; and
WHEREAS, tissue donation allows for life enhancing surgeries to repair patient's bodies who have suffered due to trauma, diseases, burns and sporting injuries; and
WHEREAS, almost half of the national transplants waiting list is minorities and African Americans comprising 35% of the national transplant waiting list for kidneys and the list is rapidly expanding; and
WHEREAS, African Americans are 12% of the United States population with a donation rate of 13%; however, African Americans represent 18% of all organ transplant recipients; and
WHEREAS, African Americans suffer more from high blood pressure, than any other racial or ethnic group, and if high blood pressure is not controlled, can destroy the kidneys; and
WHEREAS, once the kidneys are destroyed, the only options are renal dialysis or an organ transplant.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP recommend educational efforts for its members to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation as well as wellness and disease prevention to increase the quality of life, lengthen the life span, decrease the rapidly expanding organ waiting list; and opposes any racial, social, or economic discrimination in the process; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP urge all of its units to endorse wellness and preventive health and encourage organ and tissue donation through educational interventions with their local organ procurement organization to maximize the number of organ and tissue donors in this country and to promote wellness.