Organ Donation Information & Registration

Most advance directives contain a section about organ donation where you can express your wishes as to whether or not you want to donate your organs upon your death.  If your advance directive does not mention organ donation, you can write-in your wishes as to whether or not you want to donate your organs in the “comments” section of your document, or you can submit a separate letter of intent for organ donation (see below).  Your family will ultimately decide whether or not to donate your organs.  Being able to read your wishes about organ donation will make their decision-making much easier, and discussing your wishes with your family now is the best way to help them make this decision.  If you do not yet have an advance directive, visit Advance Directive Forms, for more information on how to prepare your document. If you would like to submit a separate letter of intent for organ/tissue donation (whether you have an advance directive or not), click on the links below to download and print the letter.  Then visit the “How to Register” page to learn how to submit you letter for registration.  Letters of Intent for organ donation are registered in the same way advance directives are registered.  Once your document is registered, you will receive labels for your driver’s license and insurance card, and a wallet card indicating that you are registered..  You will receive an update letter each year, to confirm that your wishes have not changed, and to allow you to make any changes to your personal and emergency contact information.  The date of this confirmation is listed on your wallet card.  In this way, there will be no doubt as to whether the letter of intent still reflects your current wishes.

The U.S. Advance Care Plan Registry‘s automated secure Internet and telephone/fax systems make advance directives and organ donor information available to health care providers across the country quickly and easily.  The availability of your wishes will take the burden off your family, and help to speed the organ procurement process.  You can register free of charge by registering your advance directive and organ donor choices through a Member Health Care Provider or Community Partner.

For more information on organ donation, including “Frequently Asked Questions About Organ Donation” and the number of Americans presently awaiting organs for transplantation, visit www.organdonor.gov. The Registry is an easy, low-cost way for states and organ donor organizations to set up a registry of organ donors.  Because registrants are sent letters annually to update their status, the resulting registry is up to date.

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