Other Ways to Help: Non-living Donation
One of the most imortant and meaningful way you can help is to save the life of someone who may otherwise die by choosing to become a donor after your death and by legally documenting your wish to so so. There are two ways to do this; your only assurance that your wishes will be honored is to use both methods. (See "Why register? Isn’t a donor card enough?” below.) Both ways are quick and easy:
Sign a Donor Card
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxSign a donor card or indicate on your driver’s license/ID that you wish to be a donor. Be certain, however, that you also make your wishes known to your family! In some states, family can override a family member's wish to donate, even though he or she has signed a legal donor card. Many families choose not to donate their loved one's organs simply because the person never made his or her wishes known to the family.
You don’t have to wait until your driver’s license is due for renewal. You can print, and start carrying this legal donor card today. Print it either on tagboard (such as a file folder) or glue it to a piece of cardboard and carry it with you.
Register with Your State's Official Donor Registry
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Most states have a registry. You can find your state’s method here. Note, however, that not all states have a registry--which is one reason that makes carrying a donor card a good idea.
Why register? Isn’t a donor card enough?
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx No. Here is an excellent explanation from California’s “Donate Life” site:
“A signed and witnessed donor card does grant authorization for organ and/or tissue recovery, but due to the suddenness and emotion surrounding the circumstances, a donor card is rarely available at the time a family is approached regarding donation. Without documentation of a loved one's wishes, families often decline to authorize donation. By signing up with (your state’s registry), your desire to donate is stored in a secure, confidential database. Should your death result in the opportunity for you to be a donor, an official record of your donor designation will be readily available and cannot be overturned by your family. Thus, should you be medically suitable to donate, your wishes will be respected and your family will be relieved of the burden of making a decision on your behalf.”
© 2010 California Donor Registry