Advertisement

If I sign an organ donor card, will my wishes be carried out?

Even if you sign a donor card, it is essential that your family know your wishes. Your family may be asked to sign a consent form to allow the donation to take place.
To learn how organ donation preferences are documented and honored in your town or city, contact your local Organ Procurement Organization (OPO). The OPO can advise you of specific local procedures, such as joining donor registries, which are available to residents in your area.
This answer is based on source information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Katrina Bramstedt, PhD
Health Education

In the US, all 50 states abide by a law known as "First Person Consent". This means that if you register to be an organ donor, NOBODY can override your decision to be a donor (not even your family). There is both a legal and an ethical duty to honor the wishes of those who have expressed their desire to be organ donors.

Not all countries have First Person Consent laws. For example, in Australia, there is a very organized system whereby adults can sign up to be organ donors; however, family members can override the wishes of the donor and refuse to allow the donation to occur.

Continue Learning about Organ Transplants & Health Care

Can I sell my organs?
Riverside Health SystemRiverside Health System
No, you cannot sell your organs. The National Organ Transplant Act (Public Law 98-507) makes it ille...
More Answers
Can pig organs be transplanted into humans?
Dr. Robin Miller, MDDr. Robin Miller, MD
Scientists have found that pig's organs could be effectively transplanted into a human. In this ...
More Answers
How Does the Body Self-Regenerate?
How Does the Body Self-Regenerate?
How Do You Grow an Artificial Organ?
How Do You Grow an Artificial Organ?

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.