Common Questions About Transplants and Misconceptions about Organ and Tissue Donation
What is organ/tissue transplantation?
Transplantation is the surgical replacement of a non-functioning organ or tissue with a donated organ or tissue. Transplantation is done to save, prolong or improve a person's life.
Why should I consider being an organ donor?
By becoming an organ donor, you can make it possible for someone else to live on after your death or, if you become a living donor, you can share the "gift of life" with someone who may die without it.
I don't think my religious beliefs would allow me to be a donor.
Most religions including Baptist, Methodists, Catholics, Presbyterians, and many others support organ and tissue donations, seeing it as a final act of love and generosity toward other human beings. If you have concerns, discuss this with your spiritual leader.
Is it true that if the doctors in the emergency room find out that I'm a donor they may not do all they can to save my life?
Absolutely not! First and foremost, organ and tissue donation is about saving lives, not trading one life for another. Organ and tissue donation can only be considered after every possible attempt to save an individual's life has been made.
Will it disfigure my body to where I can't have an open casket at my funeral?
No. An open casket funeral is possible for organ and tissue donors. Throughout the entire process, the body is treated with care, respect, and dignity.
Does organ and tissue donation cost the donor anything?
No. Any costs related to the family's donation are passed onto the recipient. Hospital costs and funeral costs remain the responsibility of the donor's family and are generally covered by insurance.
What organs and tissues can be donated?
Vital organs that are needed include hearts, lungs, livers, kidneys, pancreas and small intestines. Some tissues are blood, blood vessels, bone, bone marrow and cartilage.
Can organs and tissue be donated while a person is still alive?
Yes. In fact, over the past 5 years, an average of 26% of all transplants performed in S.C. were with organs provided by a living donor. An individual may donate one kidney and live a normal life with the remaining healthy kidney. In certain cases, a portion of a liver, lung or pancreas may be donated. Donating a pint of blood can help save four individual lives.
How do I become an organ donor?
All you need to do is sign a donor card and carry the card in your wallet next to your driver's license. You can obtain a donor card by visiting www.giftoflife-sc.org In South Carolina, as in many states, you can also elect to be a donor when transacting business at your local Dept. of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Be sure to tell your DMV representative that you'd like to be an organ and tissue donor and check the appropriate line item on the form you're using. Finally, be sure to tell your loved ones about your decision to donate.
This information is from the brochure distributed by Gift of Life Trust Fund
Gift of Life Trust Fund
Promoting Organ and Tissue Donation in S.C.
You could save or greatly improve the lives of 49 people with just one decision...Be an Organ & Tissue Donor