Organ Donation is an important advance directive that is often overlooked. While 95% of adults in the U.S. say they support organ donation, only 58% are registered organ donors, as of 2019. By becoming an organ donor, you can help save and transform the lives of others. Up-to-date statistics on organ donation are found here.
As of April 2020, more than 112,000 men, women and children were on the national transplant waiting list. Each year, the number of people on the waiting list for a transplant continues to grow at a faster rate than the number of donors and available transplants. (source: organ donor.gov DHHS). As per UNOS, approximately every 10 minutes another name is added to the national transplant waiting list and an average of 20 people on the wait list die each day because they did not receive a transplant in time.
Per the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, New York State has a low organ donation rate. As of January 7th 2019, only 35% of the population age 16 years and older in New York were registered organ donors, compared to 58% nationally. Approximately 9,465 people in New York need organ transplants.
One of the best ways to motivate yourself to register as an organ donor is through personal stories that demonstrate how organ donation transforms the lives of others. Mary Jane’s personal story on this page demonstrates the importance of considering organ donation. Additional inspiring stories of individuals across the country illustrate the value of organ donation. To hear their personal experiences, visit Personal Stories of Organ Donation at organdonor.gov.
Organ donor registration happens at the state level. For information on how to become an organ donor, visit organdonor.gov and search for your state.
In New York, everyone 16 years and older can register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor. When you register as a donor in the New York State Donate Life Registry, you agree to donate your body parts after you die. This is a legal document ensuring the person’s wish to be a donor is carried out.
There are many ways to join the New York State Donate Life Registry:
When completing your advance directive, remember to include organ donor registration and have a conversation with your loved ones about what matters most to you. These conversations help reduce stress, uncertainty and family conflict for your loved ones during a very difficult time. By registering as an organ donor, you ensure your wishes are honored, remove the burden of decision-making from your loved ones and provide a life transforming gift to others.
Organ Donation Myths and Facts
General Information on Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation
What Can Be Donated
Organ Procurement Organizations
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network
Donate Life New York FAQs
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The MOLST Update is a Newsletter dedicated to providing up-to-date information on advance care planning, MOLST and eMOLST.