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Organ & Tissue Donations

"Our Family Serving Your Family"

In practice, donations cannot be carried out without the consent of next-of-kin. Advance discussion of donation with family members is just as important as signing a card. In a time of extreme stress and grief, a signed donor card and knowledge of the individual's wishes will help families make their decision about donation.

 

For more detail information on donating organs and tissue in the Smith Center, KS area, please visit Midwest Transplant Network.

 

 

Donating A Body

 

Anatomical Need

The need is great for anatomical gifts in the majority of medical programs throughout the United States. The lack of anatomical subjects in many schools forces anatomy departments to request shared bodies from other schools or institutions. In many situations, five or more students have to share one donated body, which limits hands-on education.  


In addition to basic anatomy as a foundation course, donated bodies are also used for teaching surgery, orthopedics, ophthalmology, cardiology, neurology, and other specialty fields Millions of lives have been saved, and countless individuals enjoy optimum health today because of anatomical study using donated human gifts.

 

Important Issues

Whether donating a body to medical science for altruistic or pragmatic reasons, donation of a human body is not complicated if you know all the rules and regulations for each medical program. The two most important things to remember in all whole body donation programs are:  

 

  • No medical schools or state anatomical boards in the United States are permitted by law to purchase bodies from families or estates.

 

  • Physical condition of the body, and not age, is the important factor in body donation. There is usually no upper age limit in donation of a human body to medical science.

 

One of the most important things to be stressed here is that a potential body donor should not have a false sense of financial security concerning whole body donation. Many donated bodies are rejected at death for various reasons by medical schools. Be prepared with alternate burial or cremation plans for final disposition of the body.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who can become a donor?

Anyone who is 18 or older and of sound mind may become a donor when he or she dies. Minors may become donors with a parent's or guardian's consent.  

 

Will my decision interfere with my own health care?

No. Medical personnel must follow strict guidelines before they can pronounce death and remove the donor's organs and tissues. Organ and tissue donors receive the same health care as non-donors.  

 

How will medical personnel know that I am a donor?

Medical personnel will know by your carrying of a "Donor Card". You should distribute copies to your family, doctors, the funeral home that holds your pre-arranged services, and attorney.  

 

Who pays for the donation procedure?

The organ donation programs, funded through health care, pay for all costs involved in the organ donation and recovery.  

 

How are the organs and tissues distributed?

The distributions of organs is handled by regional organ banks which are linked to a national computer network that allows them to speed the process of matching organ donors and recipients. Tissue distribution is coordinated by various tissue banks throughout the country.  

 

Does my age or medical history matter?

Although most programs do have age restrictions for organs, it should not influence your decision to become a donor. The transplant team will decide at the time of donation whether the organs or tissues are useful for donation. If the organs or tissues can't be transplanted, it is possible that the organs or tissues may be helpful in medical research.  

 

Will I have to change my funeral arrangements?

Within reason, organ donation does not delay funeral arrangements or disfigure the body, so no changes will be needed in your funeral plans. If you plan to donate your body for medical research, you should be sure to arrange all of the details with your local anatomical board.  

 

Can I change my mind about becoming a donor?

Absolutely, simply tear up your donor card. Anyone that you have told about your donation request should be notified of this change. Tell family members, doctors, the funeral home, and if you have made arrangements to have your status indicated on your driver's license be sure to contact the driver's license office to have your status changed.