Reasons You Should Support Organ Donation

What if you knew that every 10-minutes, another person is added to the national organ transplant waiting list? That’s the staggering statistic from Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), which also encourages you to register in your state to be an organ donor.

The source notes there are currently more than 118,000 people are currently awaiting a life-saving organ transplant, although the good news is that the number of transplants is on the rise in the past 5-years (though not nearly at the pace to meet the need). Since April is “Be a Donor Month”, let’s look at six reasons you should be one…

You Could Save Eight Lives

If you knew you could save one life, you’d probably do it, right? That’s hero status right there. Well, what if you could save eight? According to, a single organ donor can save up to 8-lives. Now that’s superhero status, last time we checked.

The source notes that aside from saving lives for those awaiting transplants, you could improve the lives of 50-people by signing up to donate tissues and eyes. Now that’s helping a lot of people at once!

It Can Help With the Grieving Process

If you’re registered to be an organ donor, it could potentially help friends and family get through their grief knowing your organs are helping others, suggests Nebraska Medicine. “It can help a family work through the grieving process and deal with their loss by knowing their loved one is helping save the lives of others,” notes the site.

There have been several powerful stories about family members meeting people who have been saved by a loved one’s organs. But a heads up—before you Google this topic, have a box of tissues ready.

There are No Age Limits

If you’re holding off becoming a donor because you figure your organs are too old and tired, think again. notes that you’re never too old to give life and that even people in their 90’s have successfully donated organs.

If you’re not yet an adult (under 18), your parents can sign off on consent to allow you to give life, “knowing that it’s what you wanted,” notes the source. So young or old, age shouldn’t be holding you back.

Your Family Will Receive Gratitude reminds you that you won’t need your organs anymore after you pass away. Not only is giving your organs for life-saving procedures a way to help you live on, but they’ll also remember you and your generosity forever.

As mentioned earlier, some donor families and recipients have had powerful first meetings and some have become friends. Isn’t that reason enough to register to be a donor?

It Doesn’t Cost a Penny

Medical Center of McKinney in Texas notes that it won’t cost you a dime to become an organ donor. You can be assured that your family will never get a bill in the mail related to organ donation expenses, it adds.

On the flip side, organ donors are not compensated. In fact, some organizations such as the National Kidney Foundation actively oppose such practices. “Offering direct or indirect economic benefits in exchange for organ donation is inconsistent with our values as a society,” it notes, adding you shouldn’t put a price tag on life.

There Are No Good Reasons Not To

This Atlantic magazine article that although 90-percent of people in the U.K. support organ donation in polls, less than a third are actually registered as donors (that latter figure is around 45-percent in the U.S.). “What keeps well-intentioned people from ultimately donating is something that academics, doctors, and organ-donation activists are trying to figure out,” it notes.

Although research has pointed to mistrust in the medical field and controversy about giving away organs when a patient is declared brain-dead as barriers to donation, there are very few real reasons not to be registered. Entity magazine reminds you there are “no religious restrictions, age limits, and very few medical disqualifications.”

How to Become an Organ Donor

In the United States, you can sign up to become an organ donor through your state. First, go to to learn more and find your state’s resource website. You can give permission to donate any and all organs and tissues or limit your donation to specific items. And don’t worry, you can remove donation permission at any time.

After you’ve signed up to become a donor after death, tell your friends and family. This will help ensure that your wishes are followed and may even encourage them to also become a donor.

Patty Weasler, RN

Patty Weasler, RN

Patty is a freelance health writer and nurse (BSN, CCRN). She has worked as a critical care nurse for over 10 years and loves educating people about their health. When she's not working, Patty enjoys any outdoor activity that she can do with her husband and three kids.