Show Me Where to Begin » Organ,Tissue, and Whole Body Donation
Organ donors make specific organs and tissues available for transplants. Whole body donations are made to a medical school or research institution.
There are many more people waiting for an organ or tissue transplant than there are organs and tissues available. In some cases, an organ donation can save or extend the life of the recipient. Organs and tissues that can be donated include the kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs, skin, cornea, bone and bone marrow, and tendons, ligaments and connective tissue.
To become an organ donor, you’ll need to complete a legal document that is valid in your state. It’s recommended that you carry an organ donor card in your wallet. In some states, your organ donor status is indicated on your driver’s license. There is no cost to becoming an organ and tissue donor.
Whole Body Donation
Donation of your whole body to science will support medical research and training. Once the institution has completed its use of the body for research or training, they will bury or cremate it according to your wishes. Or if requested, your body or cremains will be returned to your family.
If your whole body donation is accepted at the time of your death, the institution will pay for the cost of internment or cremation of your body. You or your family would still need to pay for a cemetery plot, crypt or niche.
It’s important to have an alternate plan in case the institution is not able to accept the donation of your body at the time of your death. This could be due to the condition of the body, or the institution not having a need for a body at the time you die. In that case, your family will have to make other plans for your body, and pay the full cost of burial or cremation.