Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What organs and tissues can I donate?
Answer: Eyes/Corneas, Lungs, Heart, Liver,
Kidneys, Pancreas, Fascia, Skin, Cartilage/Tendons, Bone, Small
Intestine. Brain tissue for research may also be donated to
help unlock the mystery behind Autism. One donor can potentially
save 7 lives. One tissue donor can enhance the lives of up
to 60 people.
Myth: Signing a donor card is pointless.
Fact: Donor cards are not
the most important way to consent to organ and tissue donation.
The best way to make your wishes known is to register with
the Donor Registry. You should also mark “yes” on your driver’s
license when you get it renewed. If you choose to carry a separate
donor card, that is also acceptable. Discussing your decision
with your family members is also encouraged.
Myth: Doctors may let me die so they can give
my organs to others.
Fact: Doctors who treat patients at the time of death have
nothing to do with donation or transplantation of organs and tissues. Every
effort is made to save the patient's life before donation is considered.
Myth: It costs money to donate.
Fact: It costs nothing to donate.
Myth: Donation is painful for the donor's
Fact: Studies show that donation most often
provides immediate and long-term consolation for grieving family
Myth: Donation delays funeral arrangements.
Fact: Donation may affect your loved one’s
funeral services in two ways. First, since the recovery of
your loved one’s organs and tissues does take some time,
preparation for the funeral may be delayed a few hours. Second,
since tissue recovery is a surgical procedure, incisions are
made. Therefore, if you are planning an open casket funeral,
you may need to give some consideration to the clothing you
choose for your loved one to wear. The director of your funeral
home can offer you guidance in these areas. Once donation is
completed, your loved one will be taken to the funeral home
of your choice and your plans for a wake, funeral, and/or burial
can be carried out as you wish.
Myth: My religion opposes donation.
Fact: All major religions - Roman Catholicism,
Protestantism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism - fully
Myth: Transplants don't really work. They
Fact: Americans receive more than 20,000
solid organ transplants and 450,000 tissue transplants annually.
Transplantation is a standard medical procedure, and survival
and success rates are extremely high.
Myth: Wealthy people can buy organs.
Fact: It's a federal crime to buy or sell
organs and tissues. Factors such as race, gender, age, income
or celebrity status are never considered when determining who
receives an organ. The organ allocation and distribution system
is based on many factors including blood type, length of time
on the waiting list, geographical location, severity of illness
and other medical criteria. There is no way to buy a place
on the waiting list.
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