Understanding Organ and Tissue Donation
It is estimated that nearly 30,000 patients began new lives in 2015 thanks to organ transplants. Sadly, there are still 122,000 men, women, and children who are still waiting to find a matching donor. Another person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.
We spoke with Peter Smulowitz, MD, Associate Chief, BID-Plymouth Emergency Department to learn more about donation and transplantation.
Q: Who can be a donor?
People of all ages and medical histories would be potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine which organs and tissue can be donated.
Q: Does my religion support organ and tissue donation?
All major religions support donation as a final act of compassion and generosity.
Q: Is there a cost to be an organ and tissue donor?
There is no cost to the donor’s family for donation.
Q: Does my social and/or financial status play any part in whether or not I will receive an organ if I ever need one?
No. A national system matches available organs from the donor with people on the waiting list based on blood type, body size, severity of their illness, donor distance, tissue type, and time on the list. Race, income, gender, celebrity and social status are never considered.
Q: Why should I register my decision to be a donor?
Transplantation is one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of medicine. It offers patients a new chance at normal healthy lives and returns them to their families, friends and communities.
While many people support donation as an opportunity to let their organs and tissue give life and health to others after they no longer need them, many people overlook the important step of registering as a donor.
For more information or to register to become a donor, please visit www.DonateLifeNewEngland.org.