Organ donation has become an important consideration in death. Today, the demand for organs such as hearts, kidneys, etc has far exceeded the available supply. In fact, a large black market supply has been established because of the high demand for organ donation. States have introduced laws that encourage dying individuals to donate their organs upon death.
How Can I Donate Organs?
People that are willing to donate organs can express their wishes in a variety of different ways. These include:
- Donor cards - these identify you as an organ donor in the event an accident should occur
- State driver's licenses have identifying marks that indicate you as an organ donor
- Hospitals require specific forms to be signed that indicate the intention to become an organ donor
- Advance directives
However, the most important step is to indicate to family members and guardians of your intention and wish to become an organ donor. This prevents confusion when you are unable to clearly indicate your wishes.
Can I Revoke My Decision to Donate Organs?
Individuals that have indicated an intention to donate organs can cancel their wishes in several different ways. Revocation can occur by signed statement, oral statement, notifying your physician, etc. Additionally, it is important to notify family members and destroy any documents regarding organ donation.
What if I Don't Indicate an Intention to Donate?
Family members do have the right to donate your organs upon death if no indication is given. The power to attorney is usually given to the spouse or children of the deceased. However, to avoid uncertainty it is always best to inform family members of your decision to donate vital organs.
Should I Contact an Attorney?
As an organ donor there are occasions in which family members don't believe in donating organs because of religious considerations. However, an experienced family attorney can help guide you through the process of making your decision to donate organs in writing. An experienced attorney can help to make sure that your wishes are honored upon death.