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Answers to frequently asked questions about organ donation

It’s natural to have some questions about passing on your organs or tissues to others. We hope these answers can help.

Who can become an organ donor?

Anyone can become an organ donor. If you’re under age 18, you need the consent of a parent or guardian. You can give some types of tissues and organs while you’re alive, and others can be donated after your death.

Which organs and tissues can I donate?

A living donor can give a single kidney, segments of the liver, lobes from a lung, a portion of the pancreas, or bone marrow. A person who donates after death can provide eight different organs for transplants (two kidneys, two lungs, one heart, one liver, one pancreas, and intestines). Tissues include eyes, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons. Using all organs and tissues available, one donor can potentially help more than 50 people suffering from life-threatening illnesses, bone defects, burns, or blindness.

Will my decision to donate affect my medical care?

Doctors will only retrieve your organs or tissues after they have made every attempt to save your life. In fact, the doctors who provide medical care are entirely different from those who recover your organs and tissues.

Is there any cost involved in donating after death?

No. There is no cost for the donor or the donor's family.