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Organ donation saves lives

Each day in the U.S., 22 patients die while waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

If more people were registered as organ donors, this number would drastically decrease. Although 95 percent of U.S. adults support organ donation, only 51 percent are registered. The decision to register as an organ and tissue donor is a critical one: you are stating your willingness to give the greatest gift, the gift of life. An organ donor gives a second chance to someone who will not live without this gift.

Everyone is eligible to join the organ donor registry. Regardless of age or medical conditions, you can still register. In fact, in 2015, roughly one out of every three people who donated organs was over the age of 50. The oldest organ donor in Kentucky was 84: she saved three lives.

Donation myths  and facts

Urban legends about organ and tissue donation still exist, including your doctor not providing life-saving care to use you as a donor, families having to pay for their loved one to be a donor, and not being able to have a normal funeral. These myths are unfounded and completely false. Physicians will take every possible route to save a life unless the patient previously requested a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order. Doctors do not have access to the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry database to know if someone is registered or not.

In Kentucky, all costs related to the donation will be paid for by Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates.  Organ donation does not prevent someone from having an open- casket funeral.

How do I become an organ donor?

To join the organ donor registry, visit or sign up when you renew your driver’s license at your Circuit Court clerk’s office. The donor registry enables family members to know that you chose to save and enhance lives through organ, tissue, and cornea donation. Kentucky’s “First Person Consent” laws mean that the wishes of an individual on the registry will be carried out as requested.

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