Myths and Misconceptions

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

Medical professionals will do everything they can to save your life. Doctors who work to save lives are not the same doctors involved with organ donation. Organ donation will be considered only after every attempt has been made to save your life. From a medical standpoint, patients must receive the most aggressive life-saving care to be considered potential organ donors.

If I donate my loved one’s organs, the recipient of the organs and/or tissues will know who I am.

The identity of all parties is kept confidential. The donor family and the transplant recipient may receive general information such as age, sex, and state of residence. Mid-South Transplant Foundation facilitates correspondence and meetings initiated by either the donor family or recipient only if agreed upon by both parties.

Wealthy and famous people are more likely to receive a transplant because of their financial or celebrity status.

When you’re on the transplant waiting list, what matters most is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information.

I’m not sure what my religion thinks of donation.

All major religions support organ and tissue donation and see it as a final act of love and generosity toward others by giving the ultimate gift of life. Click here to see religious views on donation. If you still have religious questions or concerns, talk to your clergy and get their opinion and perspective.

There are costs to my family for donation.

The donor’s family does not pay for the cost of donation. All costs related to the donation of organs and tissues are paid by the recipient, usually through insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.

Signing the back of your license or state I.D. is all that’s needed to be a donor.

It’s not enough to sign the back of your license or state I.D. or have a living will. It’s important to sign up on the Organ & Tissue Donor Registry in your state to make your wishes known. Your registration will count as a legal, binding document that cannot be overturned by a family member. You can update and/or change your decision at any time. Once you’ve made an informed decision, be sure to tell your family.

No one will want my organs and tissues because of my medical history. Besides, I’m too old to be a donor.

The fact that you want to be a donor is something to be celebrated. It’s a tremendous gift to others. Age and most medical conditions do not exclude you from being a suitable organ and tissue donor. There are very few rule-outs, and due to medical advancements, those few may even change over time. Your medical history will be evaluated at the appropriate time to determine your suitability to donate.

I can sell my organs.

No! It’s illegal to sell human organs and tissues. Violators are subject to fines and imprisonment.