28 Apr 2015

Where do you express your wishes regarding organ donation?

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Did you know that every 10 minutes, another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list? Right this moment, 123,000 men, women and children need a transplant, but 21 people will die each day because no transplant was available. In 2013, there were 14,257 organ donors resulting in 28,953 organ transplants, which means far too few people are taking the need for organ donation seriously.

With advances in medical science, it’s now possible, to donate organs, tissue (including skin, bone, corneas, heart valves, blood vessels and tendons), bone marrow, or your entire body for purposes of transplant, education or medical research. You can choose whether you wish to donate for transplant only, or for research, therapy, education or any one or more of these purposes.

Organ donation is one of the decisions that should be reflected in advance directives such as your Health Care Power of Attorney. But putting organ donation wishes in your will is not the best idea as the will is often not found nor read until several days after the passing, and organ donations must be made immediately after death.

Here in Arizona, you can designate that you would like to be a DONOR♥ on your driver’s license or identification card. Your name will be added to the 2,511,798 other donors already listed on the DonateLife AZ Registry. You can find more information on this on the Donor Network of Arizona website.

You may also go to the OrganDonor.gov website to list your name and your wishes. This website can also provide you with additional information on becoming a donor, about donation and transplantation , plus other materials and resources.

Finally, if you feel strongly about becoming an organ donor, make sure your family and friends know your wishes on this subject, because there may not be time to hunt up paperwork when it really counts.