If you've ever thought about becoming an organ donor, consider these facts.
The topic of organ donation, like most end-of-life topics, is a heavy-hearted and emotionally complicated one – but there is one positive thing we can be certain of; organ donation saves lives. According to organdonor.gov, there were approximately 23,198 people on the organ donation waiting list in 1991. Today, there are approximately 115,000. Needless to say, donors are in demand. So if you're considering becoming a donor, but you're still unsure about a few things, check out these myths and facts, and keep researching!
Myth 1: I'm too old to be an organ donor.
Fact: You're never too old to donate your organs. The health of your organs will be determined by a medical professional and matched accordingly. To this day, the oldest donor in the U.S. was 93 years old.
Myth 2: My family will have to pay for the donation.
Fact: There is no cost to donate, for you or your family. For living donors, the procedure is often covered by the recipient's insurance or, in some cases, by the Transplant Centers Organ Acquisition Fund. However, if another medical issue is discovered that's unrelated to the donation, that won't be covered. It is important to talk with your doctor and local transplant/donation alliance organization for a more complete understanding.
Myth 3: I have a medical condition, so I can't donate.
Fact: Illnesses affect different people and different organs differently. At the time of death, the transplant team will determine – based on medical history and health of the organs – if a donation is possible.
Myth 4: Religious reasons may prevent me from donating.
Fact: Most major religions support the selfless act of organ donation. For more info about the views of your church, click here.
Myth 5: I can't have an open casket funeral.
Fact: From the time of death, the body is treated with care, respect, and dignity and open casket funerals are usually possible.
Myth 6: My organs will be sold.
Fact: Federal law mandates that organs cannot be bought or sold. Those in violation face hefty fines and prison sentences.
Myth 7: If I'm admitted to the hospital, they're less likely to save me.
Fact: Donation doesn't come into question until all life-saving measures have been taken.
Myth 8: Wealth and fame make it easier to get an organ.
Fact: Factors that go into matching donors include time spent waiting, blood type, geographic location, and other important medical information. Race, income, celebrity status, or sexual orientation are never considered.
To become one of the 69 percent of Coloradans who've signed up to be organ donors, visit donatelifecolorado.org.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!