You are here

Organ donation

Organ and tissue donation

Organ donation laws vary from state to state. In Kansas, the organ and tissue donor registry changed to a First Person Authorization Registry in 2010. What does this mean? Like an advanced directive, the decision of donation is protected by law. Joining the First Person Authorization Registry by saying “yes” at the DMV or joining online means that family members are no longer allowed to override their loved one’s personal decision. More importantly, family members aren’t left with that difficult decision at the time of their loved one’s death and they can be assured they are honoring the wishes of their loved one because the choice was already made.

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.


  • Currently, more than 121,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States. For specific numbers visit
  • 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