Delaware students now must study organ donation

Delaware OnLine | Jen Rini

“It is an agonizing time, but it does make it worth it in the end that somebody has life because of your child,” says Michelle Burgess, of Felton, who donated her son’s organs after he died of a brain tumor. (Photo: JASON MINTO/THE NEWS JOURNAL)

Back in the ’50s and ’60s, high school girls all took home economics and boys were steered to shop.

By the swinging ’70s, sex education was highlighted in school curriculums.

This year, Delaware high school students will have a new lesson to contemplate – organ and tissue donation and transplant, something that would have seemed like science fiction to those kids of the Cold War and Space Age.

The new classes, mandated by a state law that’s chasing a national trend, will be taught as a section in health education. They are designed to erase myths about organ donation and provide information that ultimately could help lower the number of Delawareans on waiting lists for transplants.

The goal is to give students knowledge to make informed decisions when they go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a driver’s license, said Todd Franzen, community relations coordinator with Gift of Life Donor Program in Philadelphia. Continue reading