FAQ - Organ & Tissue Donation

Image of rock climbersBecoming an organ donor is one of the most generous things you can ever do. Whether you donate while living or register to be an organ donor after death, you're offering hope and new life to people in great need.

Click on a common question below to see the answer.

General Questions

What is organ and tissue donation?

How many people need donated organs and tissue?

What organs are most commonly donated?

What tissues may be donated?

How can my organs and tissues be used for research?

What if I don't want my organs and/or tissues to be used for research?

Can I choose which organs and tissues I donate?

If someone has been declared brain dead, is recovery possible?

Can my family override my decision to donate?

Can a person or family designate that donated organs or tissues go to a specific person?

The Tennessee Registry

Why register? Isn't it enough to sign my driver's license?

Can I sign up my children?

I have an advance directive authorizing donation of my organs. Should I also register with the Donate Life Tennessee Registry, or will the advance directive be enough?

What if something happens to me while I'm traveling?

Myths About Donation

Your decision about organ donation should be based on facts, so it's important to educate yourself about some of the common misconceptions about donation.

How can I be sure that doctors and nurses will do everything they can to save me if I register to be an organ and tissue donor?

How can someone be sure that they will be dead when organs and tissues are recovered?

Do famous or wealthy people get transplants quicker?

Organ donation is against my religion.

If I am a donor, can I still have an open casket viewing at my funeral?

Is the donor's family charged for the donation process? Who pays for funeral arrangements?

Is there an age limit for donors? With my medical history, can I still donate?

Can organs be sold? Can someone get paid for donating?

Is donation emotionally painful for donor families?

If I donate my loved one's organs, will the recipients know who I am?