Fact: Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor. The transplant team will determine at an individual's time of death whether donation is possible. There are very few conditions that would prevent a person from becoming a donor—such as active cancer or a systemic infection. You should still consider registering. Even with an illness, you may be able to donate your organs or tissues.
Fact: There's no age limit to organ donation. To date, the oldest donor in the U.S. was age 93. What matters is the health and condition of your organs when you die.
Fact: Most major religions in the United States support organ donation and consider donation as the final act of love and generosity toward others. For more about religion and organ donation, check here.
Fact: When you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the one and only priority is to save your life. Period. Donation doesn’t become a possibility until all lifesaving methods have failed.
Fact: A national computer system matches donated organs to recipients. The factors used in matching include blood type, time spent waiting, other important medical information, how sick the person is, and geographic location. Race, income, and celebrity are NEVER considered.
Fact: An open casket funeral is usually possible for organ, eye, and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process, the body is treated with care, respect, and dignity.
Fact: There is no cost to donors or their families for organ or tissue donation.
Fact: Federal law prohibits buying and selling organs in the U.S. Violators can be punished with prison sentences and fines.
Fact: The majority of deceased organ donors are patients who have been declared brain dead. But brain death is NOT the same as coma. People can recover from comas, but not from brain death. Brain death is final. More about brain death.
Fact: There is no policy or federal regulation that excludes a member of the LGBT community from donating organs. What matters in donating organs is the health of the organs.