frequently asked questions

Learn the Facts

People have a lot of questions about organ, eye, and tissue donation. We encourage everyone to learn the facts and make an informed decision.

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  • Who can be a donor?

    Everyone should consider themselves a potential donor. LifeShare screens all patients at the time of death to determine if they can donate.

    The health of your organs is more important than your age. The oldest organ donor in the US was 95 years old. 

    Medicine is constantly changing and improving. Medical advances now allow people with diseases like cancer, hepatitis, and HIV to donate. Patients with HIV can donate their organs to others with HIV through the HOPE Act.

  • What can be donated?

    One organ donor can help up to eight people. These organs can be donated: heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas, and small intestine. Learn more about common reasons a transplant may be needed.

    One tissue donor can help up to 75 people. In some cases, hundreds can be impacted through tissue donation. These tissues can be donated: bone, tendons, ligaments, heart valves, veins, arteries, skin, and bone marrow. Learn about how donated tissue can be used to save and heal lives

    The cornea can be donated to give sight to two people. Up to eight others can be helped if the whole eye is donated. See how different eye diseases can impact vision

  • Will signing up as a donor affect my care in an emergency?

    Your life always comes first. Doctors, nurses, and paramedics are dedicated to saving lives. Donation is only considered after all lifesaving efforts have failed.

    It is rare to become an organ donor. Learn more about the organ donation process. You can also learn about the tissue and eye donation process.

  • How do I sign up as a donor?

    There are many ways to sign up as a donor. You can say “yes” at the DMV when you get or renew a driver’s license. You can sign up online anytime. iPhone users can sign up using the Apple app called health. Look for the organ donor option in the medical ID section.

  • What does it mean to donate to medical research?

    Unfortunately, some organs can't be transplanted. But donors can still make a major impact through medical research. LifeShare partners with a number of research facilities. Through these groundbreaking partnerships, organs can be used to help find causes, treatments, or even cures for diseases. Learn more about how organs donated for medical research can make a difference in the lives of others. 

  • What if my family doesn't support organ, eye, and tissue donation?

    Signing up as a donor is a legally-binding decision if you’re 18 or older. That means your family cannot overrule your choice.

    Sharing your decision with your loved ones is very important. If they know what this is you want, they will be prepared to work with LifeShare to honor your wishes. This is one less difficult decision for the family to make during intense grief and sadness.

  • How does LifeShare or my family know I want to be a donor?

    When you sign up as a donor, your decision is sent to a secure donor registration database. LifeShare checks that database to find out if a donation candidate had signed up as a donor. If the patient is a registered donor, LifeShare will share this information with their family. If the patient is not a registered donor, LifeShare will ask the family to decide if they want to donate their loved one’s organs, eyes, and tissue. Read more about the process for organ donation and tissue/eye donation.

  • Can my organs go to someone I know?

    If you or your family knows someone who needs an organ transplant, they can ask LifeShare about directed donation. Our team will discuss this option with the potential recipient’s transplant team. Tests may be needed to find out if the donor and recipient would be a good match.

  • Will donation impact funeral plans?

    Organ, eye, and tissue donation should not impact funeral plans. Our teams treat donors with care and respect throughout the donation process. We will make every effort to minimize any changes to the donor's physical appearance.

  • Does my religion support donation?

    All major religions in the US support donation as a final act of love and compassion. Read statements and teachings from various faiths about organ, eye, and tissue donation. You can also talk with your faith leader for more information.
    https://www.donatelife.net/organ-donation-and-religion/

  • Will my family be charged for my donation?

    There is no cost to your family for donation. Your family will be charged for any EMS and hospital costs before the donation. Your family will also pay for funeral or cremation costs. Any costs directly related to organ, eye, and tissue donation will be paid by LifeShare.

    If you get a bill you think is related to the donation process, please contact our Bridge to Healing team for help. If a billing mistake is made, we can try to help you get those charges reversed.

Learn More

Questions?

If you have any other questions about organ, eye, and tissue donation, you can email us or call us at 1-800-932-GIVE (4483).

If you're ready to make your wishes known, sign up today.