Frequently Asked Questions
About Eye, Organ and Tissue Donation

Anyone of any age or with any kind of medical history can choose to save and heal lives through eye, organ, and tissue donation. Your health, age, and lifestyle should not be factors in your decision to help others in the event of your death. Even people with chronic medical conditions and infectious diseases may be able to donate. Which organs and tissues can actually be used will be determined at the time of your death. Don’t rule yourself out; you can save and heal lives!

The heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, small intestine and pancreas can be donated. Transplantable tissues include bone, heart valves, skin, corneas, ligaments, and tendons.

Bone tissue donation can help prevent amputation in people with severe injuries. Donated heart valves can replace defective or diseased valves. Skin donations can act as a temporary covering for burn victims or those with severe wounds. Corneas can restore sight in those with corneal blindness. Ligaments and tendons can help repair injured joints.

Just one donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation. And one donor can save or heal more than 75 lives through eye and tissue donation!

No, an open casket funeral is possible. Donation does not limit funeral or burial arrangements.

We treat the donor's body with great respect and dignity throughout the donation process. Their appearance following donation still allows for an open-casket funeral.

Once the organ and/or tissue recovery process is complete, the body is released to the donor’s family. The time required for the donation process varies depending on the organs and tissues recovered. It is generally completed within 24-48 hours. The recovery organization communicates with the family and/or funeral home during this timeframe.

No, your donation is a gift. There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate for eye, organ and tissue donation. Recovery organizations assume all costs associated with recovering and processing organs and tissues for transplant once death has been declared and authorization is confirmed through the donor registry or from the family in lieu of registration.
No, saving your life comes first. Organ and tissue donation takes place only after all efforts to save your life have been exhausted and death has been legally declared. The doctors working to save your life are entirely separate from the medical team involved in recovering organs and tissues.
Most religions support eye, organ, and tissue donation and view it as a final act of love and generosity. However, we encourage you to talk with your religious leader on specific details relating to donation. 

It depends. The facilitation of requests for the sharing of information is guided by respect for the confidentiality of donor families and recipients. Communication processes differ after eye, organ, and tissue donation. Within a few weeks after donation occurs, the donor family will be notified of general information about the recipient(s), including age, sex, and residential region.

Potential correspondence between donor families and recipients is facilitated by the recovery organization in a way that ensures donor and recipient confidentiality. If correspondence continues over time and both parties agree to disclose their identity, it may be possible for donor families and recipients to communicate directly. If both parties wish, people can meet each other in person, while others may be more comfortable communicating without direct contact. Either party may decline to correspond or meet for various reasons.

No, living donation is another incredible way you can help save the life of someone waiting for an organ transplant. Through living donation, a living person can donate a kidney or part of the liver, lung, intestine, or pancreas to another person in need of a transplant.