Organ Donation Myths and Facts
Being an organ, eye and tissue donor is a generous decision that can be a lifesaver for up to 75 people. If you've ever considered organ donation but had concerns, here are answers to common organ donation myths.
- Myth: Doctors won't try as hard to save my life.
- Fact: Doctors will try to save your life, not someone else's. Donor status is not a factor.
- Myth: Organs go to the rich and famous.
- Fact: People on the national waiting list are treated equally — many factors determine their place on the list, but not wealth or fame.
- Myth: I might not have passed away before removal.
- Fact: Organ donation rules call for additional testing, at no cost to the family, to confirm a patient's death prior to becoming an organ donor.
- Myth: I'm not healthy enough to donate.
- Fact: Very few conditions disqualify a person from donation. Each organ and tissue is evaluated separately.
- Myth: Organ donation is against my religion.
- Fact: Donation is consistent with the beliefs of most major religions. If you are unsure, talk with a member of your faith's clergy.
- Myth: I'm too old to donate. Nobody would want my organs.
- Fact: There's no defined cutoff age for donating organs. The decision to use your organs is based on strict medical criteria, not age. Don't prematurely disqualify yourself. Let the doctors decide at the time of your death whether your organs and tissues are suitable for transplantation.
- Myth: My family will be charged if I donate.
- Fact: A patient's family may be charged for final life-saving efforts, but costs related to organ donation are covered by the recipient.
- Myth: I won't be able to have an open-casket funeral.
- Fact: Organ and tissue removal leave no marks or body changes that would be visible when a person is clothed and in a casket.
- Myth: Most Americans are already registered to be organ donors.
- Fact: While 95% of Americans are in favor of being a donor, only 56% are registered.
Sources: MayoClinic.org; DonateLife.net.