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Organ Donation: What to Consider

Organ Donation: What to Consider

While Feb. 14 remains one of the most recognizable holidays throughout the year, with Valentine’s Day roses and hearts appearing everywhere, there also is another important recognition day: National Donor Day. Beyond a yes or no question on your license renewal application, organ donation is a subject that often brings up a lot of questions and emotions. It also is an area where we can make a real difference in the lives of others. So, let's take a closer look at organ donation, how you can register and other vital facts to help you make an informed decision.

What is Organ Donation?

Organ donation is a generous act involving giving an organ—like a kidney, heart or liver—to someone who needs it. In many cases, organ donation can mean the difference between life and death. It's a selfless gift that has the power to transform lives. Almost anyone can be an organ donor, regardless of age or medical history.

Registering as an Organ Donor

Becoming an organ donor is an important decision. Registering is straightforward. You can sign up online through your local organ donation registry. Alternatively, when you apply for or renew your driver's license, you'll be asked if you want to be an organ donor. If you say yes, you'll be added to the national organ donor list.

Important Facts to Consider

Before making your decision, it's crucial to educate yourself with all the necessary facts. Here are some things you might want to know:

  • Organ donation doesn't interfere with medical care. Your health always comes first. Doctors will do everything they can to save your life before organ donation becomes a consideration.
  • Most religions support organ donation. Many faiths view organ donation as a final act of love and generosity.
  • There's no cost to the donor's family or estate. The recipient's medical insurance usually covers all expenses related to organ donation.
  • You can specify which organs you want to donate. If you're uncomfortable donating certain organs, you can specify your wishes when you register.

Making the Decision

Deciding to become an organ donor is a personal decision. It's okay to take your time to think about it, and talk it over with your family. They should know your wishes, as they may be asked to confirm your decision.

RELATED: Separating Organ Donor Myths and Facts

Organ donation is a decision that requires thought, understanding and conversation. But in the end, it's a decision that has the potential to save, or significantly improve, someone else's life. That's powerful.

If you're considering becoming an organ donor, we encourage you to learn more, ask questions, and talk to your loved ones.

Informed Health Decisions in Northeast Ohio

At Southwest General Health Center, our team of primary and specialty care physicians has years of experience evaluating the needs of patients in our community and provide health care services to meet those needs. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, visit our website at