Donation FAQ - Questions and Answers

  • Don’t believe the hype! It is against the law in the United States to sell organs or tissues, therefore neither the donor nor any family may receive any money for donating organs or tissues.
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  • Anyone who is 18 years or older can become a donor. A person under the age of 18 can become a donor with a parent or guardian’s consent.
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  • Sign a donor card and tell your family and loved ones about your decision (many relatives may not approve of donation if they are not aware of your wishes)
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  • No, donated organs and tissues are removed surgically, as in a routine operation. Normal funeral arrangements (with an open casket) are possible for organ and tissue donors.
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  • As of June 2, 1999, there were 63,635 patients on the waiting list to receive an organ. Ten (10) persons per day die waiting for transplants.
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  • One organ donor can save the lives of seven (7) persons. Tissue donation can better the quality of life of twenty (20) persons, such as giving sight to the blind.
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  • Heart, Liver, Kidney, Heart-lung, pancreas and lung.
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  • Skin, bones, corneas, heart valves and connective tissue.
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  • Avoid alcoholic drinks to help prevent liver disease. Do not use illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine which can also cause liver disease and kidney failure. Do not smoke cigarettes which can lead to heart disease and lung disease. Avoid foods high in salt, cholesterol, and saturated fats such as fried foods which can clog the arteries. Exercise regularly- at least three times per week.
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  • No, a donor’s family is not charged for donation. The Organ Procurement Organization pays the costs associated with the recovery of organs and tissues from donors.
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  • Yes, there is no national list for organ donors. If you change your mind about becoming a donor, just tear up your donor card.
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  • Yes, you can donate blood, bone marrow, and kidneys. You can be a living related donor or an unrelated living donor.
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