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Life Saving: How to Become an Organ/Tissue Donor

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 11:01 AM

Organ and tissue donation is an important decision that can help significantly enhance and save the lives of others. There are many myths about organ and tissue donations, and it’s important to know the facts before you choose to become a donor.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:

  • A new person is added to the national waiting list every 11 minutes.
  • An average of 18 people die each day waiting for a transplant.
  • One organ donor can save up to 8 lives.

The process for becoming a donor in Illinois and other states has changed in recent years. Effective January 1, 2006, a new law—First-Person Consent legislation—makes your decision to become a donor legally binding without necessary consent from witnesses or family members at your death. This new law keeps your family from needing to make a quick decision about your end-of-life wishes.

To join the First-Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry, complete one of the following Web forms:

If you are under 18 years of age, you cannot sign up for the registry; instead, donation decisions will need to be made by your parents when and if necessary. You can opt out of the registry at any time.

If you still have questions, please refer to the following websites’ frequently asked questions:

Do you know someone who has benefited from an organ donation? Is it something that you would consider?