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Topping The List--Top 10 Misconceptions About Organ Donation

1. I do not want my body mutilated.
Donated organs are removed surgically, in a routine operation similar to gallbladder or appendix removal. Normal funeral arrangements are possible.

2. My family would be expected to pay for donating my organs.
A donor's family is not charged for donation. If a family believes it has been billed incorrectly, the family immediately should contact its local organ procurement organization.

3. I might want to donate one organ, but I do not want to donate everything.
You may specify what organs you want donated. Your wishes will be followed.

4. If I am in an accident and the hospital knows that I want to be a donor, the doctors will not try to save my life.
The medical team treating you is separate from the transplant team. The organ procurement organization (OPO) is not notified until all lifesaving efforts have failed and death has been determined. The OPO does not notify the transplant team until your family has consented to donation.

5. I am not the right age for donation.
Organs may be donated from someone as young as a newborn. Age limits for organ donation no longer exist; however, the general age limit for tissue donation is 70.

6. If I donate, I would worry that the recipient and/or the recipient's family would discover my identity and cause more grief for my family.
Information about the donor is released by the OPO to the recipients only if the family that donated requests that it be provided.

7. My religion does not support donation.
All organized religions support donation, typically considering it a generous act that is the individual's choice.

8. Only heart, liver and kidneys can be transplanted.
The pancreas, lungs, small and large intestines, and the stomach also can be transplanted.

9. Wealthy people are the only people who receive transplants.
Anyone requiring a transplant is eligible for one. Arrangements can be made with the transplant hospital for individuals requiring financial assistance.

10. I have a history of medical illness. You would not want my organs or tissues.
At the time of death, the OPO will review medical and social histories to determine donor suitability on a case-by-case basis.

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