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Myths About Organ Donation

Get the facts about organ, eye and tissue donation.

Myth: If emergency room doctors know you’re an organ, eye and tissue donor, they won’t work as hard to save you.

Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the No. 1 priority is to save your life. Organ, eye and tissue donation can only be considered after death has been declared.

Myth: You are too old or ill to be a donor.

Fact: People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine if organs, eyes and tissues can be donated.

Myth: Your religion prohibits organ, eye and tissue donation.

Fact: Most major organized religions in the U.S. approve of organ, eye, and tissue donation and consider it an act of charity.

Myth: Organ and tissue donation disfigures the body and changes the way it looks in a casket.

Fact: Donated organs and tissues are removed surgically, in an operation similar to gallbladder or appendix removal. Donation need not change the appearance of the body for the funeral service.

Myth: Only hearts, livers and kidneys can be transplanted.

Fact: Transplantable organs include the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines. Tissue that can be donated includes eyes, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons. One donor can improve the lives of many people.

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