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Organ and tissue donation

Organ and tissue donation

Organ donation laws vary from state to state. Kansas law says that you can include your wishes to donate your tissues and organs after death on your driver's license or in your advance directive. Kansas law recommends that all hospitals and doctors get your family's permission to honor your decision after death. It is very important that you talk with all the members of your family about your decision to donate your organs and tissues. Kansas law requires healthcare providers to ask about organ donation after the death of any patient.

Organ transplant is one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of medicine. But despite continuing advances in medicine and technology, the need for organs and tissue is vastly greater than the number available for transplantation.

Transplantation gives hope to thousands of people with organ failure and provides many others with active and renewed lives. Despite continuing efforts at public education, misconceptions and inaccuracies about donation persist.

Learn these facts to help you better understand organ, eye and tissue donation:

  • Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race or medical history.
  • All major religions in the United States support organ, eye and tissue donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.
  • If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ, eye and tissue donation can only be considered after you are deceased.
  • When you are on the waiting list for an organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type and other important medical information, not your financial status or celebrity status.
  • An open-casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process the body is treated with care, respect and dignity.
  • There is no cost to the donor or their family for organ or tissue donation.

Statistics

  • Currently, more than 121,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States. For specific numbers visit unos.org
  • 28,952 Organ Transplants Performed in 2013
  • 14,257 Organ Donors in 2013
  • More than 46,000 corneas were transplanted in 2013
  • More than 1 million tissue transplants are done each year and the surgical need for tissue has been steadily rising