Don't let myths and rumors keep you from saving lives. Learn the facts.
Myth: Doctors will not try to save my life if they know I want to be a donor.
Fact: The medical staff trying to save lives is completely separate from the transplant team. Donation takes place only after all efforts to save your life have been exhausted and death has been declared.
Myth: People can recover from brain death.
Fact: People can recover from comas, but not brain death. Coma and brain death are not the same.
Myth: Minorities should refuse to donate because organ distribution discriminates by race.
Fact: Organs are matched by factors, including blood and tissue typing, which can vary by race. Patients are more likely to find matches among donors of their same race or ethnicity.
Myth: The rich and famous on the U.S. waiting list for organs get preferential treatment.
Fact: The computerized matching system does not select recipients based on fame or wealth. Organs are matched by blood and tissue typing, organ size, medical urgency, waiting time and geographic location.
Myth: I am too old to donate organs and tissues.
Fact: People of all ages may be organ and tissue donors. Physical condition, not age, is most important. Physicians will decide whether your organs and tissues can be transplanted at the time of death.
Myth: My family will be charged for donating my organs.
Fact: Donation costs are not the responsibility of the donor's family or estate.
Myth: Donation will disfigure my body.
Fact: A surgical procedure is used to recover donated organs and tissue. The body is always treated with great care and respect. Donation should not delay or change funeral arrangements. An open casket funeral is possible.
Myth: Organs are sold, with enormous profits going to the medical community.
Fact: Federal law prohibits the buying and selling of organs in the United States. Violators are punishable by prison sentences and fines.