If I am in an accident and the hospital knows that I want to be a donor, will the doctors not try to save my life?
Organ and tissue recovery takes place only after all efforts to save your life have been exhausted and death has been legally declared. The medical team treating you is completely separate from the transplant team. Organ donation is not an option until all lifesaving efforts have failed and death has been determined.
Do I really need to tell my family that I want to be a donor? I have it written in my will.
By the time your will is read, it will be too late to recover your organs. Enrolling in the New England Donor Registry and telling your family that you want to be an organ and tissue donor is the best way to ensure that your wishes are carried out.
Will my family will be charged for donating my organs?
The donor family and/or the donor’s estate is never billed for any costs relating to donation.
Does my religion support donation?
All major religions fully support organ and tissue donation and the concept of brain death. If you have concerns about your religion and donation, we recommend speaking to a leader in your faith community to learn more.
Do celebrities and wealthy people get moved to the top of the list or transplanted earlier than others?
The organ allocation and distribution system is blind to wealth or social status. The length of time it takes to receive a transplant is governed by many factors, including blood type, length of time on the waiting list, medical urgency and other medical criteria. Factors such as race, gender, age, income or celebrity status is never considered when determining who receives an organ.
Am I the right age to be a donor?
People of all ages can be donors; from newborns to people in their 90s. At the time of death, the appropriate medical professionals will determine whether the organs are viable for transplantation.
I have a history of medical illness, do you really want my organs or tissues?
At the time of death, the appropriate medical professionals will review your medical and social histories to determine whether or not you can be a donor. With recent advances in transplantation, many more people than ever before can be donors. It’s best to join your state registry and tell your family your wishes.
Will becoming a donor impact my funeral or burial arrangements?
The body is treated with the utmost respect and dignity during the procurement process. Donated organs are removed surgically, in a routine operation similar to gallbladder or appendix removal. Donation does not disfigure the body or rule out an open casket funeral.
What organs can be transplanted?
Needed organs include: the heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, liver and intestine. Tissues that can be donated include the eyes, skin, bone, heart valves, veins; blood vessels, cartilage and tendons.