Organ, eye and tissue donors save lives

Register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor.

More than 100,000 people are waiting for a lifesaving transplant. Transplants rely on the generosity of organ, eye and tissue donors, and there are not enough donors to meet the need. You can help.

8

Another person is added to the waiting list every 8 minutes.

17

17 people die each day while waiting for an organ transplant.

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One organ, eye and tissue donor can save and heal more than 75 lives.

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Organ, Eye & Tissue Donation FAQs

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 tissues can be donated.

A national system matches available organs from the donor with people on the waiting list based on blood type, body size, how sick they are, donor distance, tissue type and time on the list. Sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, race, income, celebrity and social status are never considered.

Deceased organ donation is the process of giving an organ or a part of an organ, at the time of the donor’s death, for the purpose of transplantation to another person. Only after all efforts to save the patient’s life have been exhausted, tests have been performed to confirm the absence of brain or brainstem activity, and brain death has been declared, is donation a possibility. 

The state donor registry and National Donate Life Registry are searched securely online to determine if the patient has authorized donation. If the potential donor is not found in a registry, their next of kin or legally authorized representative is offered the opportunity to authorize the donation. Donation and transplantation professionals follow national policy to determine which organs can be transplanted and to which patients on the national transplant waiting list the organs are to be allocated. Read more about the deceased donation process.

There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate for donation. The donor family pays only for medical expenses before death and costs associated with funeral arrangements.

If you registered in the National Donate Life Registry on DonateLife.net, RegisterMe.org, or in your iPhone Health App, please go to RegisterMe.org and click “Access Your Registration” to make changes to your donor registration record. If you registered through your DMV or Driver License Partner, you should have a heart or other symbol on your license. If you need to confirm or change your state registration, please reach out to your local contact. Learn more.

Your life always comes first. Doctors work hard to save every patient’s life, but sometimes there is a complete and irreversible loss of brain function. The patient is declared clinically and legally dead. Only then is donation an option.

Living organ donation offers another choice for some transplant candidates, reducing their time on the waiting list and leading to better long term outcomes for the recipient. Living tissue donation, birth tissue, is used to promote healing and to treat burns and painful wounds. Learn more about living donation.

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Ways to Support The Mission

Donate Life America’s work is not possible without financial support from people like you.
Make a financial contribution today to help save and heal lives.

Our Partners for Life

Make a Splash for Donate Life Month

This National Donate Life Month, we ask you to be a part of this interconnected life-sustaining community by registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor; becoming educated about living donation; and championing the Donate Life cause.

Donate Life America and the United Network for Organ Sharing invite you to join us for a National Tree of Life virtual event to honor the gift of life and remember the generosity of organ, eye and tissue donors and their families. On December 19 at 6:30 pm ET, we will share stories and honor the legacy of donors in each state who gave the gift of life in 2023 and celebrate the thousands of lives they saved. The event will be livestreamed on Donate Life America’s Facebook page.