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Don’t Let Misinformation About Organ Donation Affect Your Decisions

Two Black men at an information table sharing facts about organ donation

Don’t let misinformation about organ and tissue donation affect your decision to sign up as a donor and leave a legacy of kindness and generosity.

Please consider this credible, accurate information as you make your informed decision.

Myth: Doctors don’t work as hard to save the lives of registered organ donors.

Fact: If you are sick or injured, the first priority of your hospital care team is to save your life. Organ donation is only considered when all efforts to save a patient have been exhausted.

Myth: I’m too old to be an organ or tissue donor.

There is no age limit for organ donation. Many donors older than 50 – and some in their 80s – have saved the lives of recipients. Last year, Gift of Life Michigan helped a 101-year-old woman become a tissue donor. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine whether your organs and tissues are healthy enough to help another person.

Myth: My religion prohibits organ donation.

Most major religions support organ and tissue donation and consider it a final act of charity and love. If in doubt, ask your spiritual or religious leader.

Myth: I can’t have an open-casket viewing and funeral if I donate my organs.

Donation need not interfere with funeral plans. The donor’s body is treated with the utmost respect. Gift of Life has relationships with funeral homes across Michigan.

Myth: I am too sick to be a donor.

Don’t rule yourself out. A patient with diabetes might not qualify to donate kidneys, but could have healthy lungs or a strong heart. Patients with HIV can donate to patients with HIV. Medical teams decide which organs and tissue are suitable for transplant.

Myth: I can’t be a donor if I’ve had COVID-19.

Patients who have been exposed to or contracted Covid-19 can still donate organs and tissue. Even lungs that were infected might still be suitable for transplant if the donor was asymptomatic at the time of donation. Again, don’t rule yourself out.

Myth: I can only sign up to donate when getting or renewing my driver’s license.

You can sign up online at any time through a Secretary of State branch office, its website at michigan.gov/sos or the Gift of Life website, golm.org/register. It only takes five minutes to save a life, so Check Your Heart and add your name to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry today.

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