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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 family.
Fact: Studies show that donation most often provides immediate and long-term consolation for grieving family members.

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 support donation.

Myth: Transplants don't really work. They are experimental.
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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