Deceased Organ Donation

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Deceased organ donation is the process of giving an organ or a part of an organ, at the time of the donor’s death, for the purpose of transplantation to another person. At the end of your life, you can give life to others.

In order for a person to become an organ donor, blood and oxygen must flow through the organs until the time of recovery to ensure viability. This requires that a person die under circumstances that have resulted in a fatal brain injury, usually from massive trauma resulting in bleeding, swelling or lack of oxygen to the brain.

Only after all efforts to save the patient’s life have been exhausted, tests have been performed to confirm the absence of brain or brainstem activity, and brain death has been declared, is donation a possibility.

The state and national Donate Life Registries are searched securely online to determine if the patient has personally authorized donation. If the potential donor is not found in the Registry, his or her next of kin or legally authorized representative (usually a spouse, relative or close friend) is offered the opportunity to authorize the donation. Once the donation decision is established, the family is asked to provide a medical and social history. Donation and transplantation professionals determine which organs can be transplanted and to which patients on the national transplant waiting list the organs are to be allocated.

Why register your decision to be a donor?

By registering your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor in the National Donate Life Registry, you are helping to save lives and give hope to the more than 100,000 people in the United States currently waiting for lifesaving organ transplants. Thousands more people are in need of tissue or corneal transplants to restore health. One donor can save and heal more than 75 lives. Register TODAY:

The National Donate Life Registry

Donate Life America manages the National Donate Life Registry.

Registering your decision to be an organ donor in the National Donate Life Registry ensures your donor registration travels with you, no matter where you live or move across the country.

When you register in the National Donate Life Registry, you are registering to be an organ, eye and tissue donor for the purpose of saving and healing lives through transplantation.

There are currently more than 7.3 million donor registrations in the National Donate Life Registry.

How it works

You can register in the National Donate Life Registry at, in your iPhone Health App or using our on-site registration form.

Any adult age 18 or older can register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor – regardless of age or medical history. 15-17 year olds can register their intent to be organ, eye and tissue donors in the National Donate Life Registry. However, until they are 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian makes the final donation decision. If registering in the National Donate Life Registry through iPhone, you must be 18 years or older.

Your privacy is important. We work to make sure personal data is safe, secure and protected. Donate Life America may disclose registration information to other entities, such as recovery agencies, solely for the purpose of recognizing and acting on your donation decision at the time of your death.