When you get your driver’s license, you may be asked to put your name on the registry as a potential organ donor. Answer yes and sign the back of your driver’s license with a permanent marker. If you are not asked, just inform the agent you’d like to be added.
You can consent to be an organ and tissue donor by signing up with your state registry. In Missouri, you can visit MissouriOrganDonor.com to authorize consent.
Let family and friends know of your decision. Friends and family may interfere with the donor’s wishes despite a marked driver’s license and registration in the Organ Donor Registry. When a potential donor dies, immediate relatives are contacted for the final decision, which must be made quickly.
Myth: If EMS or ER staff knows I am an organ donor, they won’t work as hard to save me.
Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the No. 1 priority is to save your life. Organ donation can only be considered after a physician declares brain death. Many states have adopted legislation allowing people to legally designate their wish to be a donor should brain death occur.
Myth: If I’m waiting for a transplant, my financial or celebrity status is as important as my medical status.
Fact: When you are on the transplant waiting list, the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type and other important medical information are taken into consideration.
Myth: Having “Organ Donor” noted on my driver’s license or carrying a donor card is all I have to do to become a donor.
Fact: While a signed donor card and a driver’s license with an organ donor designation are legal documents, organ and tissue donation should be discussed with family members before the donation. To ensure your family members understand your wishes, tell them about your decision.
Myth: My family will be charge for the removal of my donations.
Fact: There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate for organ and tissue donation. Funeral costs remain the responsibility of the family.
Myth: My history of medical illness means my organs or tissues are unfit for donation.
Fact: Health professionals will determine this. With recent advances in transplantation, many more people are eligible to be organ donors.
Myth: Organ donation disfigures the body and changes the way it looks in a casket.
Fact: Donated organs are removed surgically and it does not change the appearance of the body for funeral services. Through the entire donation process the body is treated with care, respect and dignity.
Myth: My religion prohibits organ donation.
Fact: All major organized religions support organ, eye and tissue donation and consider it an act of love and generosity towards others.
Myth: All of my organs and tissues will be removed even if I only want to donate a specific organ.
Fact: You may specify which organ(s) and/or tissue(s) you want to donate. Those wishes will be followed.
Myth: The donor’s information becomes public knowledge.
Fact: Information about an organ donor is only released to the recipient if the family of the donor requests or agrees to it.