We encourage every person to consider the magnitude of saying yes to donation.

Have questions?  We are here to assist you.

Things to consider

For the Family

Who can give authorization for donation?

In many cases, your loved one may have already made his/her wishes known, by signing up as a donor on his/her driver’s license, or by giving an indication in his/her will or health care directive. If the decision to donate has not been recorded, the decision then becomes that of the loved ones.

What is the religious view of donation?

Many religions view donation as an individual decision, but almost all major religions support donation. It is often considered a gift; an act of compassion and a means to reduce suffering. If you have any concerns, please consult your religious advisor.

Are there any costs to our family for donation?

Your family should not incur any costs associated with the tissue donation process. Medical and funeral costs, however, will remain the family’s responsibility.

What are the next steps if we decide to consider tissue donation?

The tissue donation coordinator is required to ask you a series of questions about your loved one’s past medical and personal history; similar to the questions asked when one donates blood. This information is strictly confidential and the right to privacy is always respected.

What about funeral arrangements?

Tissue donation does not usually interfere with funeral services; open viewing is still possible if so desired. Your loved one will always be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

Can our family receive information about the recipients?

An attempt is made to gather general information about the recipients. The reporting of tissue recipient information by surgeons and hospitals is currently voluntary, thus records are often incomplete. It is usually possible to obtain general information about the recipients, however specific information may be difficult to obtain and can only be shared with the recipient’s permission.

For the Donor

Why does tissue donation make a difference?

Transplantation is one of the great success stories of modern medicine. Close to 1 million people benefit from tissue donation each year; a single donor can help dozens of individuals.

Who can donate?

People of all ages and medical histories have the potential to donate.

Donation will not be considered until all efforts to save the person’s life have been taken. The person’s medical condition at the time of death will determine if and what organs and tissues can be donated.

Hospitals, medical examiners, coroners, and funeral professionals partner with donation organizations to help ensure that donation options are made available to families.

What tissues may be donated?

  • Bone Tissue – for orthopedic and reconstructive treatments
  • Heart Valves – to repair defective valves and improve heart function
  • Blood Vessels – to restore blood flow; often used for heart bypass, to make continued kidney dialysis possible, to re-establish circulation in a diabetic’s limb, and to repair aneurysms
  • Skin Tissue – for burn patients, trauma, reconstruction and wound care treatments
  • Connective Tissue – to increase or restore mobility

How do I become a donor?

American Donor Services believes that becoming a donor is one of the most profound and unselfish acts an individual can do. Ways to document your intentions are: your drivers license, donor registries and advanced directives. The next key step is to share your wishes with your loved ones.

Hear from Families

Donation Stories

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