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Most people would happily accept an organ from another individual if it could save their life or end their own suffering, yet many are reluctant to be donors. If you ask someone why they won’t agree to be an organ donor, you learn that their main reason is really not a reason: it’s a myth. Don't let myths and rumors keep you from saving lives. Learn the facts.

Myth: If emergency room doctors know you're an organ donor, they won't work as hard to save you.

Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ donation can only be considered after brain death has been declared by a physician. The doctors and nurses working to save your life are separate from doctors who perform organ transplants.

Myth: When you're waiting for a transplant, your financial or celebrity status is as important as your medical status.

Fact: When you are on the transplant waiting list, organs are given to the people most in need. What really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information. Your income and social status have no bearing when determining how organs are allocated.

Myth: Having "organ donor" noted on your driver's license or carrying a donor card is all you have to do to become a donor.

Fact: It’s a good step, but you should also register with the Donate Life Registry (click “Register” on Brooke’s Big Heart). It’s also important to talk to your family about your decision to donate LIFE so they are aware of your wishes and will feel comfortable honoring them.

Myth: Only hearts, livers, and kidneys can be transplanted.

Fact: Organs that can be transplanted include the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines. Tissue that can be donated include the eyes, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons.

You are too old to donate organs and tissues.

People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated. People in their 80s and 90s have successfully donated organs to help others.

If you agree to donate your organs, your family will be charged for the costs.

Fact: There is no cost to the donor's family or estate for organ and tissue donation. Funeral costs remain the responsibility of the family.

Myth: Organ donation disfigures the body and changes the way it looks in a casket.

Fact: Donated organs are removed surgically, in a routine operation similar to appendix removal. The body is always treated with great care and respect. Donation does not change the appearance of the body for the funeral service.

Myth: Your religion prohibits organ donation.

Fact: All major organized religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider it an act of charity.

Myth: People can recover from brain death.

Fact: People can recover from comas, but not brain death. Coma and brain death are not the same.
Register to be an Organ Donor