Frequently asked questions on organ and tissue donation
Am I too old to sign up?
No, there are no age limits to register. There have been donors of all ages who have saved lives.
I think donation is against my religion. Is it?
Probably not. Most major religions approve of organ, tissue and eye donation and consider it the ultimate act of human kindess and generosity
I have health problems. Can I still be a donor?
Yes, anyone is a potential organ donor despite medical conditions, so please don't rule yourself out. A diabetic, for example, might have unhealthy kidneys, but a very strong heart or lungs. Donors with some medical conditions, such as hepatitis or HIV, are able to save or prolong the lives of who already have hepatitis or HIV. Medical criteria for organ donation changes as medical advances occur; and a physician evaluates all potential donors at the time of death to determine what can be used to help others.
How much does it cost to donate?
Nothing. It won’t cost your estate or your family anything. All procedures related to the donation are covered by Gift of Life Michigan.
Can I indicate specific organs or tissue to be donated?
Why is it important to register as a donor?
Will I still be able to have an open casket at the funeral?
Yes, donors are afforded the utmost respect and care so neither organ nor tissue donation typcally interfere with open casket viewings.
How do I sign up?
You can do so right here, by visiting any Secretary of State branch office or by calling Gift of Life at 800.482.4881. It takes about 30 seconds.
Why should I donate?
About 3,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ in Michigan today. Nationwide, the number stands at about 114,000. People die waiting every single day because the number in need greatly outpaces the organs available. There is an especially critical need for hearts, livers and kidneys. Your decision to someday donate your organs could save up to eight lives. Your tissue can ease the pain and improve the lives of up to 50 more sick or injured people.
Will doctors work as had to save my life if they know I'm a donor?
Yes, absolutely. This is, perhaps, the number one myth about organ donation. Every effort to save your life will be made before donation is considered or even discussed. By law, the medical team treating you must be completely separate from the transplant team.