Separating facts from fiction in regard to organ donation

Organ donation is overwhelmingly supported by the adult population of the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 95 percent of adults in the United States support organ donation.

Staff Report

In spite of that, the DHHS notes that only 54 percent of U.S. adults are signed up as organ donors. That gap only highlights the need for education in regard to organ donation. Separating the facts and fiction surrounding organ donation might compel more people to sign up as donors, saving untold numbers of lives as a result.
• People with medical conditions can still be organ donors. Many people mistakenly assume that an existing medical condition precludes them from being organ donors. However, the DHHS notes that very few medical conditions would prevent people from becoming organ donors. Such conditions include HIV and active cancer. Transplant teams determine at the time of death if a donation is possible, so even prospective donors who have doubts can still sign up.
• There is no age limit for organ donors. The health and condition of the organs, and not their age, is what matters. In fact, the DHHS notes that the oldest donor in the United States was 93 at the time of donation.
• Religions do not prohibit organ donation. The DHHS notes that most major religion support organ donation, considering it a final act of love and generosity. Prospective donors who are uncertain if their religion supports organ donation can visit www.organdonor.gov/about/donors/religion.html for more information.
• Celebrity status, race or financial well-being do not dictate who receives organs. In the United States, a nationwide computer system matches donated organs to recipients. Blood type, geographic location and time on the waiting list are just some of the factors used to match donated organs to recipients. Race, celebrity status or financial well-being are never considered.


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