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Tel: +1 (201) 327-0655
Fax: +1 (201) 327-8900


Below are some frequently asked questions about organ donation.

If I have an illness, can I still donate?

You may be a donor even if you have an illness. When you die, doctors will decide if donation is possible.

Can I choose what I want to donate?

Most states give you the option to choose which organs and tissues you want to donate, or to donate everything usable. Check with your state registry.

If I'm a registered donor, will it affect the medical care I receive at the hospital?

No. When you go to a hospital, saving your life comes first. Donation doesn’t become a possibility until all lifesaving methods have failed. The medical team trying to save your life is separate from the transplant team.

My own medical care will be compromised if the hospital is aware that I have an organ donor designation on my license.

The decision to be an organ donor will in no way affect the level of medical care for a sick or injured person. The team of doctors and nurses involved in treating the patient is not involved with the recovery/transplant team, which is called only after death has occurred. 

Do you have to be a U.S. citizen to donate or receive organs in the U.S.?

No. You can donate and receive organs in the U.S. even if you don’t live in the country or aren’t a U.S. citizen. Doctors give organs to people based on medical need, not citizenship.

If I sign up as a donor, will doctors carry out my wishes?

If you’re over 18 and signed up as a deceased donor in your state registry, you have legally given permission for your donation. No one can change your consent. Signing a card isn't enough. If you’re under 18, your parents or legal guardian must give permission for your donation.

Will donation damage my body? Can I have an open-casket funeral?

Hospital workers treat your body with care and respect during the donation process. You can donate your organs, eyes, and tissues and still have an open-casket funeral.

Is there an age limit?

There’s no age limit to organ donation. Newborns and older adults have been organ donors. The health of your organs is more important than your age. The transplant team will decide at the time of death if donation is possible.

What organs and tissues can I donate? 

Eight vital organs: heart, kidneys (2), pancreas, lungs (2), liver, intestines, hands, and face


Tissue: cornea, skin, heart valves, bone, blood vessels, and connective tissue


Bone marrow and stem cells, umbilical cord blood, and peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC)

How does a donor organ match to someone who needs it?

A national computer system matches donated organs to people who need them. It bases matching decisions on things like blood type, time spent waiting, and geographic location.

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