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Busting Organ Donation Myths

Busting Organ Donation Myths

This summer Jeni Stepien walked down the aisle in Swissvale, PA, arm-in-arm with the man whose life was saved 10 years ago by her murdered father’s donated heart. Though bitter-sweet for assembled family members, the moment clearly demonstrated how deeply moving and important organ donation can be. In fact, one person can save or improve the life of up to 50 other people by sharing his or her organs, eyes and tissue. But sadly, over 20 people die every day because of organ shortages.

Only 40 percent of U.S. adults are registered organ donors (48 percent offer their eyes; 45 percent tissue). And if you’re one of the reluctant who worry a doctor won’t do everything possible to save your life because you are a donor, that’s just not true and here’s why.

You’re seen by the doctor who specializes in your condition, not the one who harvests organs. And doctors have every incentive to save you. Not only do they care about you, their reputation is on the line! You also may worry you’ll be declared dead prematurely. In fact, organ donors have a right to extra tests to determine if they really are deceased, at no cost.

So if you’ve been on the fence about becoming a donor, think about what your legacy could do! And it’s easier than ever to sign up. You don’t have to wait until you renew your driver’s license. Apple’s updated Health app lets you register to become an organ, eye and tissue donor.

Medically reviewed in January 2019.

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