Your Care - Organ and Tissue Donation

What is organ and tissue donation?

It is a special way for you to help save someone else's life through transplant surgery after you die. Today, about 25 different organs and tissues may be used, including corneas of the eyes, heart, liver, bone and cartilage, kidneys, bone marrow, and skin.


Who makes decisions about organ and tissue donations?

You, the patient, may indicate your decision by having signed a donor card, by expressing your wishes, or noting them on your Advance Directive, or driver's license. In most cases, the family decides at the time of the patient's death. Organ and tissue donations are strictly voluntary, but there are limiting factors. If you have any questions or concerns, talk with your doctor or nurse.


What is brain death?

We usually think of death as the stopping of the heartbeat and the breathing process. However, new technology has created another type of death. Brain dead means a total absence of brain activity. Heartbeat and breathing may continue only with the help of special machines. The hospital has a specific
brain death protocol that will be followed.


By signing a donor card or noting it on your Advance Directive or driver's license, you can make your choice about organ and tissue donation known.