4 Reasons to Tell Your Family That You’re a Registered Organ & Tissue Donor

Sendelbach family
Caption: The family of Lindsey Sendelbach, a tissue donor.

Making the decision to become an organ & tissue donor is a very personal one, but it has the potential to affect the lives of your family and loved ones as well. Below are 4 key reasons why you should tell your family that you’re a registered organ & tissue donor.

  1. To Avoid Potential Confusion 

Letting your family know that you have decided to be a registered organ and tissue donor will help clear up any potential confusion, especially at your time of death. If you register as a donor without telling your family, it might come as a surprise to them, and this could create a confusing situation during a very emotionally sensitive time. If they are aware of your wishes in advance, it will provide more clarity and simplify their responsibilities as they are dealing with their loss.

  1. To Ensure That Your Wishes Will Be Carried Out 

When you register as a donor, you are essentially granting legal authorization for your organs and tissues to be recovered and used in transplant if possible. There have been cases where the family was opposed to the deceased donor’s decision, creating a very tense situation at a very sensitive time and in some cases it can cause what otherwise would have been viable organs and tissues to not be used in transplant due to a lack of understanding. At the time of your death, your next of kin will be presented with official documentation of your donor registration, but they will not have the legal right to override your decision. It is important that your family and loved ones know about your decision, so that they can be prepared to cooperate with healthcare personnel. Even though this can be difficult to do for family members who do not agree with your decision, it will provide a concrete course of action, and eliminate a source of potential conflict.

  1. To Provide an Opportunity to Answer Questions

Many times people are a little uneasy about donation because they are unsure of how it works, or perhaps they have heard some inaccurate information about donation somewhere along the line. To be sure, there are quite a few stubbornly persistent myths and urban legends in circulation regarding donation that have unfortunately caused many people to become skeptical or suspicious about this life-saving medical procedure. By letting your family know about your decision, you can answer some of their questions about organ & tissue donation, or point them to resources that can help address their concerns. #themoreyouknow

  1. To Be An Inspiration! 

You never really know how your selfless decision to become an organ and tissue donor might change another family member or friend’s perspective about it. Even if some of your family members or loved ones do not initially agree with your decision, they might be inspired to find out more about it, and over time they might even register as donors themselves!

If you have registered become an organ donor, congratulations! Your selfless decision could one day have life-saving implications for someone who is in desperate need of an organ or tissue transplant. By communicating this decision to your family and loved ones, you are ensuring that the process of organ & tissue donation will be carried out in a way that is as respectful and stress-free as possible. Here’s to saving lives through organ donation!

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