How to Become an Organ Donor

How to Become an Organ Donor

There are tens of thousands of people on organ waiting lists across the country, and organs received from deceased donors save lives every single day. Although it might not necessarily be comfortable to think of your organs being taken after your death to be transplanted, the decision to become an organ donor could be one that saves multiple lives.

You may donate any organs in your body, tissues (such as skin, bone, heart valves, tendons and blood vessels) and bone marrow — or even your entire body for medical research. These donations are incredibly valuable gifts. Patients in need of donations will receive organs depending on the severity of their illness, the location of each the donor and recipient and certain physical characteristics, such as size, blood type and genetics.

There are two main ways you can become a donor:

  • Sign up through your state’s donor registry. In Florida, there’s an online registration form that makes signing up easy.
  • Enroll as an organ donor whenever you either get or renew your driver’s license. Your donor status will then be marked on your license.

If you are interested in donating your whole body for medical research, you will likely need to make these plans in advance of your death. Get in touch with medical research centers in your area, such as medical schools and universities, for more information about how you can make this happen.

Once you have made this decision, make sure to tell your family about it so they are not blindsided with the news upon your passing. The National Foundation for Transplants has some good information on how to approach the subject with your loved ones.

For the legal guidance you need as you plan for your future, consult a dedicated Tampa estate planning attorney with BaumannKangas Estate Law.