Facts About Organ Donation

  • There is no age limit for organ donation.
  • Becoming an organ donor will have no impact on the care you receive should you fall ill.
  • There are strict legal guidelines that must be carefully followed before brain death can be declared and organs removed.
  • The doctors who treat a patient at the time of death are in no way involved with those responsible for organ removal.
  • Organ donation is considered only after every effort has been made to save the patient's life.
  • Those with active cancer, HIV or active infection are not candidates for organ donation. People with hepatitis B or C may be donors.
  • There is no charge to become an organ donor. All costs for donation are covered by the local organ procurement organization.
  • Organ donation does not disfigure the body or delay funeral arrangements.

Facts About Becoming and Being an Organ Donor

This information pertains to New York State, but may be applicable in other states as well.

There are several ways for you to become an organ or tissue donor:

  • Check the box on your application for a new or renewed driver's license/nondriver identification card either at the Department of Motor Vehicle's offices or received by mail.
  • Download the Registry form at the New York State Department of Health web site: health.state.ny.us.
  • The recommended method to become a donor is to sign the New York State Donate Life Registry. There is less emphasis on signing your driver's license, although it is a good idea to do that if you can.
  • Remember to tell your loved ones that you have made a legally binding decision to be a donor.

Organ and Tissue Donor Registry

If you should change your mind after you enroll, you should tell your health-care provider and your family that you have changed your mind. You should also write to the Department of Health (New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Standards Development, 433 River Street, Hedley Park Place, 6th Floor, Troy, New York12180) to have your name removed from the Registry. If you signed the back of your driver's license, you should cross out the information.

Organs and tissues are distributed through federally or state authorized regional organ and tissue banks. Your decision to become an organ/tissue donor will not interfere with the health care you receive. Saving each patient's life is the health care provider's first priority. Donation does not cost your family anything. One of the most important things you can do when you decide to be an organ/tissue donor is to share your desire with your family. Family consent is required for organ/tissue donation.

To learn more about organ and tissue donation, go to health.state.ny.us; call the New York Organ Donor Network at 1-800-GIFT-4-NY (443-8469); or call the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry at 1-877-752-3175. Informational brochures about the Registry and organ/tissue donation are available in English and Spanish at the New York Organ Donor Network or by calling the Registry at the toll-free number listed above.

Next Steps

If you are in need of a transplant or want to help someone who is, we can help. Call us at (212) 305-6469 to get started today, or sign up with one of our online forms: I Need A Transplant » | I Want to Donate My Kidney »

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