Health Care Decisions & Advance Directives
An average of 13 people die every day awaiting organ transplants because there is a tragic shortage of donated organs and tissues. We've put together the follwing information to help you make your decision about organ and tissue donation:
- Even if you choose to donate organs and tissues after your death, every effort wiil be made to save your life. Organs and tissue donation can be pursued only after these efforts have failed and you are declared dead.
- These is no disfigurement associated with organ and tissues recovery. You may have an open casket funeral if you wish.
- There is no charge to the donating family for recovering organs and tissues.
- Organs are distributed to those awaiting transplant on the basis of matching, medical urgency, time waiting, and in some cases, geographic proximity.
- Age need not be a consideration in making a donation.
- It is against the law in the United States to buy or sell organs.
To become an organ donor in Vermont, register online at www.donatelifevt.org. You must be 18 years of age or older to register. By registering you give legal consent for organ and tissue donation. You may also sign and carry a Uniform Donor Card and sign the appropriate lines on the back of your Vermont Drivers license. If you use the Uniform Donor Card you must sign the card in the presence of 2 witnesses, who must also sign. The Uniform Donor Card is recognized in all 50 states.
For more information about organ and tissue donation, visit www.donatelifevt.org
Organs needed for transplantation are kidneys, lungs, heart, liver and pancreas. Tissues used for transplantation include eyes/corneas, bone and associated connective tissue, skin, heart valves and cardiovascular tissue.
Your family will be consulted upon your death prior to the recovery of any organs or tissues. The best way to ensure that your wishes are followed is to talk with them beforehand and make sure they understand your wishes.
- Donate Life Vermont
New England Organ Bank
- Center for Donation and Transplant
Donor Hotline: 1-800 803-6667
- Dartmount Medical School's Anatomical Gifts Program
- University of Vermont's Anatomical Gift Program