Organ Donation Resources

Organ donor card AP

As of July 31, 2007, 96,853 people in the United State are waiting on one or more organs.

Find out how you can make a difference by becoming an organ donor.

Who can become a donor?
Almost everyone is a potential donor. There is no age limit. Those who are HIV positive, have active cancer or systemic infection are the exceptions. Potential donors are evaluated for suitability when the occasion arises.

What can be donated?
  • Organs: heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver, and intestines
  • Tissue: cornea, skin, bone marrow, heart valves, and connective tissue
  • Bone marrow

  • Are there any costs to families for donation?
    The donor's family does not pay for the cost of the organ donation. All costs related to donation of organs and tissues are paid by the recipient, usually through insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.

    Share Your Decision
    While you can indicate your desire to donate your organs on your driver's license and by signing and carrying an organ donor card, organ donation should always be discussed with family members before the donation. To make sure that your family knows of your wishes, it is vital to discuss your decision.

    To learn more about organ donation:

    • You can read more about organ donation through Donate Life.

    • Click here for facts and myths about organ donation.

    • According to the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program, about 50% of those national transplant waiting list represent minorities.

    • The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) is the unified transplant network established by the United States Congress under the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984. The act called for the network to be operated by a private, non-profit organization under federal contract.

    • The United Network for Organ Sharing is the nonprofit organization that coordinates U.S. organ transplants.

    Sources: OPTN, UNOS,


    Follow Us

    Watch CBSN Live

    Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

    Watch Now

    On Twitter

    New Android App

    For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

    The all new
    CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
    Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App