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Organ and Tissue Donation

Globally and nationally, there is a donor organ shortage.

The demand for organ, eye and tissue donation exceeds the number of donors in the U.S. You can help save someone's life by joining the registry to donate your organs, eyes or tissue after death.

Join the Donate Life California organ donation registry

Another Option: Living Kidney Donation

Becoming a living kidney donor is another way to help. A living organ donation can shorten the waiting period for an organ (or part of an organ) and can be performed with fewer complications and, often, better patient outcomes.

Organ donation is completely voluntary. Many mechanisms are in place to protect donor’s health, safety and privacy.

Learn more about living kidney donation at UC San Diego Health.

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.

Video: Honor Walk Pays Tribute to Organ Donor



Fire Captain Robin Cervantes, who was killed in an accident, donated four organs that helped four recipients. His family, friends and medical team paid tribute to his generosity with an Honor Walk as he was wheeled to the operating room for the donation.

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