Tissue Donation and Your Health Care Directive
As part of your Health Care Directive, you will have to decide if you want some or all of your organs donated. If you strongly believe that you want your organs donated, you should contact a lawyer to ensure this is clearly spelled out in a legal document. Do not assume that because your driver’s license says “organ donor” your organs will be donated.
Organ donation is a sensitive and difficult question for family members. Frequently, religious beliefs become part of the conversations about organ donation. If you have differing opinions about organ donation within your family, you should make the choice now and document your decision. Once you are ill or once you have passed away, it is too late to have a healthy conversation about tissue donation.
There are several choices when it comes to organ donation and the options may vary because of where you live. However, you generally choose the organs and tissues you want to donate. In addition, you can opt as to how you want your organs to be used: transplant, therapy, research, or education.
Once you have made your choices about organ donation and documented the choice with an estate planner/lawyer, discuss your directive with your family. When you are sick, there will be more important matters on which to focus.