A Cooper University Hospital physician long committed to end-of-life care and bioethics has been appointed to NJ Sharing Network’s Board of Directors.

Dr. Vijay Rajput, a resident of Huntingdon Valley, PA, heads the Division of Medical Education at Cooper University Hospital and is a professor of medicine at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden. He became involved in bioethics and end-of-life care about 12 years ago, at which time he published a paper in Medical Ethics called, Addressing the Organ Shortage: Presumed Consent and Xenotransplant.                                 

In joining the Board of Directors at NJ Sharing Network, Dr. Rajput said he was concerned with the public’s understanding and perception of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

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“There is simply not enough education to the young medical students and residents about organ donation and the nuances surrounding it,” he said, adding that he hoped to play a significant role in reversing the trend in his new volunteer role. “Through my work with NJ Sharing Network, I will help create higher awareness among the healthcare community and the public simultaneously.”

Joe Roth, President & Chief Executive Officer of NJ Sharing Network, said Dr. Rajput’s expertise will help build awareness about organ donation and increase donor registration.

“Dr. Rajput can help us develop strategies that will ultimately save lives in New Jersey,” said Roth.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), more than 115,000 people nationwide are currently on the organ transplant wait list, including nearly 5,000 New Jersey residents. UNOS also estimates that one new name is added to the transplant wait list every 10 minutes.

Since its inception in 1987, NJ Sharing Network has more than quadrupled the number of organs recovered for transplantation. NJ Sharing Network also recovers tissue for life-enhancing transplants. However, there is still a massive shortage of registered organ donors here in New Jersey. Less than one-third of licensed drivers in New Jersey are registered donors; ranking the Garden State 44th out of the 50 states in the percentage of registered organ and tissue donors.

To learn more about organ and tissue donation or to get involved with NJ Sharing Network call 1-800-742-7365 or visitwww.NJSharingNetwork.org to register as an organ and tissue donor.