Nationwide, there are over 100,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and more than 3,000 of those people are right here in our community. The gift of organ, eye and tissue donation has the power to save and heal lives. It’s a generous and selfless gift – the gift of life.
Every individual has the right to sign up to donate their organs, eyes and tissues at the time of their death. Anyone can register. Your age or health does not prevent you from registering. Most health conditions do not prevent donation and age is not a factor – the oldest organ donor was 95. Medical advances now allow people with chronic conditions, cancer, HIV and hepatitis to donate. Don’t rule yourself out – check the box.
When you register as an organ, eye and tissue donor you are making a legal decision that will be honored after your death. It’s important to talk with your family so they can be aware and prepared to honor your decision.
Your religious and spiritual beliefs will be respected, and your decision will be honored. In general, all major religions in the United States support organ, eye and tissue donation and consider it a generous act of caring.
There is no cost to your family. If you decide to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, your family will NOT have to pay for any medical expenses associated with the donation.
One person can save and heal more than 75 lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.
When it comes to waiting for a transplant, we are all created equal. Wealthy or famous individuals cannot and do not get bumped up higher on the national transplant waiting list.
These factors are used to determine the best candidate for an available organ:
- Blood type
- Body size
- Severity of patient’s medical condition
- Distance between the donor’s hospital and the patient’s hospital
- The patient’s waiting time
- Whether the patient is healthy enough for surgery
Your decision will be honored. When you register as an organ, eye and tissue donor you are making a legal decision and, even after your death, your decision will be honored. It’s important to talk with your family so they can be prepared to honor your decision at the time of your death.
If you don’t decide prior to your death whether or not you want to become an organ, eye and tissue donor, your loved ones will have the opportunity to make that decision on your behalf. Therefore, it is incredibly important to document your decision and share your decision with your loved ones.
Organ, eye and tissue donors are heroes and are treated as such. The medical professionals who perform the recovery surgeries treat donors with the utmost respect, just like they would for any other patient. If you and your family were planning on an open casket funeral or viewing, these plans should not be affected by donation.
Yes. If you are taken to the hospital after an accident or injury, it is the hospital’s number one priority to save YOUR life. Your status as a donor is not considered until every effort has been made to try to save your life. To be considered for donation, a patient must be on a ventilator and either declared brain dead or suffer cardiac death.
There are many questions and myths around organ, eye, and tissue donation. Unfortunately, people often disqualify themselves as potential donors by citing misconceptions. Check out these videos to get the facts and learn that regardless of your age, race, religion, or health you can still share the gift of life.