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What is Directed Donation?

Directed donation is when a donor – or a deceased donor’s family – specifically chooses who will receive the transplant.

Direct donation, or donating to a specific person, can occur when a deceased donor’s family identifies a person waiting on the national transplant list who they would like to receive their loved one’s organ.

A specific individual would need to be named by the donor family for a direct donation to occur – families cannot direct a donation to a group of people.

If the person the family selects to receive the donation is not a match, the family would be asked to donate the gift to another person on the national transplant waiting list per allocation policy. 

This is brought up at the time of donation. While there is no requirement to document this, you can include this request on advanced directives.

Another would be to communicate to their loved one. Of course, if it is a kidney and they want to help them now, they could consider living donation.

When a directed donation is not a match and goes to someone else, it indirectly helps those waiting by offering hope in humanity and by helping them increase their chances of receiving a transplant by shortening the list, even by one.

Related Resources:

https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/news/optn-information-regarding-deceased-directed-donation/