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Three myths about organ donation

More than 100,000 people are waiting for an organ donation in the United States
The myths holding back organ donors 01:20

More than 123,000 people in the U.S. are currently in need of an organ transplant, and many will not survive the wait. Federal health officials say 21 people die every day waiting for a transplant because there aren't nearly enough organ donations to go around.

Fewer than half of Americans have signed up to be organ donors. Experts say a number of myths and misconceptions keep others from making this life-saving gift.

One common fear is that hospitals might not work as hard to save your life if they want your organs for transplant. Experts say that is totally false.

"If you're in an accident the first thing is they're going to save your life, not look for your organ donor designation on your license," Howard Nathan, the president and CEO of the Gift of Life donor program, told CBS News.

Another misconception many people have is that organ donation violates religious principles. In fact, organ donation is consistent with most major religions.

And one more myth the experts would like to lay to rest: the idea that you may be too old to donate. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says here is no predetermined cutoff age for donating organs. Whether a person is a suitable donor depends on their physical condition, not age.

"We've used organs from people up to 85," Nathan said. "Don't rule yourself out."

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