Background

At your death, you may donate all or part of your body for medical research or use by others. Your entire body may be donated. Or particular organs and tissues may be donated, including heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, liver, intestine, bone marrow, corneas and skin.

The law requires hospitals to attempt to identify potential organ and tissue donors; they must provide information; and they must ask your next of kin about organ and tissue donation. Costs of donation procedures are paid by the organ donation agency.

Depending on your condition and the circumstances of your death, organ or tissue donation might not be appropriate at your death.

Organ or tissue donation normally requires that medical care (examples: use of a respirator and heart-lung machine) be used for a time (perhaps up to 24 hours) after you have been declared dead. This allows time for removal and is done to maintain the usefulness of the organs and tissues.

Your Thoughts and Wishes

We offer you the accompanying form to express your thoughts and wishes about organ and tissue donations at your death. Complete the form, discuss it with others, and keep it in a safe place (where it will be available when needed).

The FORM is in PDF Format, for free printout. Permission to copy is granted, so long as the copies are not sold. (If you do not have a PDF reader  — you can obtain one for free from Adobe.)

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