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Organ and Tissue Donation


Updated: November 27, 2006

Discuss Your Decision with Your Family: Ways to Start the Conversation

Be sure to share your decision to become an organ and tissue donor with your family. When the time comes, they may be the ones giving consent.

Discussing organ donation with family members can be awkward and uncomfortable; however it is an important step to ensure that your final wishes are carried out. Talking to your loved ones about your wishes in case of a tragic event, including your choice to be an organ donor can be helpful information for them to know. Knowing your views on organ donation allows your family to carry out your wishes and eliminates the need for them to make a difficult decision during a time of loss.

Simple Ways of Starting the Conversation

    1. Look for opportunities to talk about organ donation. The sudden, unexpected death of a young person or friend can be an opening to bring up the topic. "You know if that were to happen to me, I would want to have my organs donated. What would you want to do?"
    2. Start the conversation by showing your family your signed Donor Card. Be prepared to answer their questions.
    3. Send them an e-postcard or Family Notification Form that shares your decision to donate your organs and tissues. After you know they've received the card or the form, ask.
    4. Wear a green ribbon or pin to show your support for Organ Donation.
    5. Share the story of someone who needs a transplant or has received one.

The next section has links to these ways of sharing your decision and brochures with additional tips for talking to your family.

  1. Organ and Tissue Donation Statistics
  2. Be Inspired by the Gift of Life
  3. Get Your Organ and Tissue Donor Card Today
  4. Sign up with your State's Organ Donor and Tissue Registry
  5. Make Your Wishes Known About Organ and Tissue Donation
  6. Discuss Your Decision with Your Family: Ways to Start the Conversation
  7. Resources for Discussing Your Decision with Your Family
  8. Understand the Myths & Misconceptions About Organ and Tissue Donation
  9. More Myths & Misconceptions About Organ and Tissue Donation
  10. Organ and Tissue Donation: Resources

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