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How can a loved one who has a terminal illness be an organ donor?

Depending on the cause of death, organ and tissue donation may be possible. Sometimes the knowledge that a person's organs can bring life or health to someone else later is quite meaningful to the person who is dying as well as to family members.

If your loved one wishes to be an organ donor, have him or her fill out a universal donor card. Next of kin must consent to organ donation after a death, so be sure that the person explains his or her wishes to family members and doctors. In some cases, a home death would make organ and tissue donation impossible.

For more information, check with the New England Organ Bank—which can also supply donor cards—or the United Network for Organ Sharing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.