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The Facts About Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation

Although there have been great advances in medical technology and donation, the need for organ, eye and tissue donation still vastly exceeds the number of donors. Get the facts and help us dispel myths about donation.

I'm not in the best of health. Nobody would want my organs or tissues
"I'm not in the best of health. Nobody would want my organs or tissues."
The Facts:  

Very few medical conditions automatically disqualify you from donating organs. The decision to use an organ is based on strict medical criteria. It may turn out that certain organs are not suitable for transplantation, but other organs and tissues may be fine. Don't disqualify yourself prematurely. Only medical professionals at the time of your death can determine whether your organs are suitable for transplantation.

An open-casket funeral isn't an option for people who have donated organs or tissues
"An open-casket funeral isn't an option for people who have donated organs or tissues."
The Facts:  

Organ and tissue donation doesn't interfere with having an open-casket funeral. The donor's body is clothed for burial, so there are no visible signs of organ or tissue donation. Through the entire donation process, the body is treated with care, dignity and respect.

Rich and famous people go to the top of the list when they need a donor organ
"Rich and famous people go to the top of the list when they need a donor organ."
The Facts:  

The rich and famous aren't given priority when it comes to allocating organs. It may seem that way because of the amount of publicity generated when celebrities receive a transplant, but they are treated no differently from anyone else. When patients are on the waiting list for an organ transplant, their position on that list is based on the severity of their illness, time spent waiting, blood type and other important medical information. Social and financial status are never a factor in this process.

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Statistics

2014 was a record breaking year for the number of transplants performed and the number of deceased donor transplants.

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Common Questions

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