Facts About Organ Donation

Despite continuing efforts at public education­­–misconceptions & inaccuracies about donation persist. Learn these facts to better understand organ, eye, and tissue donation:


Fact: A national system with strict standards (United Network for Organ Sharing) is in place to ensure ethical and fair distribution of organs. Organs are matched by blood and tissue typing, organ size, medical urgency, waiting time, and geographic location.

Fact: People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissues can be donated.

Fact: Organs and tissue that can be donated include: heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, corneas, skin, tendons, bone, nerve, and heart valves.

Fact: Organ donation is consistent with the beliefs of most major religions.

Fact: An open-casket funeral is possible for organ and tissue donors.

Fact: There are no hospital-associated costs to the donor’s family or estate for organ and tissue donation.

Fact: If you are sick or injured, the hospital’s number one priority is to save your life. Organ and tissue donation can only be considered after death is declared by the physician.

Fact: Information about an organ donor is only released to the recipient if the donor’s family requests or agrees to it. Otherwise, a patient’s privacy is maintained for both donor families and recipients.

Fact: Donors are needed for all races and ethnic groups. Transplant success rates increase when organs are matched between members of the same ethnic background.

Fact: Share your decision with your family so they know your wishes.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”