A commonly asked question about organ and tissue donation is: “Does my religion allow me to be a donor?” The truth is that all major religions in the United States support organ and tissue donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others. See Religious Views.
Mid-South Transplant Foundation recognizes the importance of our partnerships with our religious leaders who play such a crucial role in our communities. Many individuals and families turn to their place of worship for healing, fellowship and spirituality. The clergy is part of the team that works with us in comforting donor families. Clergy are often asked to clarify theological and moral questions the potential donor family may have regarding end of life issues.
We ask our clergy to make a commitment to educate their congregations in partnership with MSTF about the facts concerning donation. Working together we can truly make a difference.
National Donor Sabbath
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DOWNLOAD MP4: Be A Blessing_ A Faith-Based View of Organ Donation
What is National Donor Sabbath?
National Donor Sabbath is observed annually, two weekends before Thanksgiving, from Friday through Sunday. This three-day observance seeks to include the days of worship for major religions practiced in the United States. During National Donor Sabbath, faith leaders and their communities participate in services and programs to educate the public about the need for donation, the generosity of the gift and the importance of registering one’s decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor.
What are the benefits of being an organ, eye and tissue donor?
• Registering your decision to be a donor relieves your family from the burden of making this important decision on your behalf during a time of trauma and loss.
• Knowing that you can give someone else a chance to live a healthy productive life is the greatest gift of all.
• A single donor can save or heal the lives of more than 75 people.
• Donation is a consolation to the donor family in knowing that their loved one helped make life possible for others.
Is there a cost to the donor?
There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate for donation. The donor family pays only for medical expenses before death and costs associated with funeral arrangements.
Am I too old or sick to be a donor?
People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated.
Does my place of worship support organ, eye and tissue donation?
All major religions in the U.S. support donation as a final act of compassion and generosity.
Does donation affect funeral plans?
An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process, the body is treated with care and respect. Funeral arrangements can continue as planned following donation.
How can I become an organ, eye and tissue donor?
Register your decision to be a donor at RegisterMe.org, in the Medical ID tab of your iPhone Health App, at your local DMV or in your state registry www.DonateLifeTN.org; www.DonateLifeMS.org; or www.DonateLifeArkansas.org.
What can I do to increase organ, eye and tissue donation in my community?
Tell your family and friends about your decision to Donate Life. Ask them to get the facts, and consider registering their decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor.
Go to DonateLife.net for tips and tools for educating members of your community about the lifesaving gift of donation and transplantation.
Always remember: It is important to tell your family members that you have signed up as a donor so that they will know your decision to save and heal lives.
Donation and Transplantation Statistics
• In 2016, more than 33,600 transplants brought new life to patients and their families (from 9,970 deceased and 5,977 living donors).
• 117,000 men, women and children await lifesaving organ transplants.
• About 58% of patients awaiting lifesaving transplants are minorities.
Another person is added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list every 10
• Sadly, 8,000 people die each year (22 people each day – almost one person per hour) because the organs they need are not donated in time.
• 83% of patients on the waiting list are waiting for a kidney. The average waiting time for a kidney from a deceased donor is 3 to 5 years. A kidney from a living donor offers patients an alternative to years of dialysis and time on the national transplant waiting list. The living donor’s kidney will enlarge, doing the work of two healthy kidneys*.
• 12% of patients waiting are in need of a liver. Living donation of part of the liver is an option for these patients. The remaining portion of the donor liver will regenerate and regain full function.
• More than 32% of all deceased donors are age 50 or older; more than 6% are age 65 or older.
• Each year, there are approximately 30,000 tissue donors and more than 1.75 million tissue transplants. The surgical need for donated tissue is steadily rising.
• A single tissue donor can help more than 75 people.
• 48,000 patients have their sight restored through corneal transplants each year.
• More than 136 million people, approximately 55% of the U.S. adult population, are registered organ, eye and tissue donors.
• To register your decision to save and heal lives, visit RegisterMe.org.
• To learn more about organ, eye and tissue donation, visit DonateLife.net.
Data from Donate Life America and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of August 7, 2017.