How can I become an organ, eye, and tissue donor?
Consider yourself a potential organ and tissue donor. Your medical condition and circumstances of your death will determine what organs and tissues can be donated. Once you make the decision to be a donor, record your decision. There are several ways you can document your decision to give an anatomical gift:
- Register your decision in Missouri’s Registry online.
- Enroll in the Registry when you obtain or renew an instruction permit or driver/nondriver license.
- Complete and mail in a registration form. You may also call toll-free at 888-497-4564 to obtain a copy of the form.
- Sign the back of your driver/nondriver license with a permanent marker – be sure to have a witness sign too.
- Include your decision in an advance health care directive, will, or living will.
- Sign and carry a donor card or other signed record.
- Provide any communication witnessed by two adults during a terminal illness or injury (one witness must be a disinterested witness).
How do I make my decision known?
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
- Inform your family. Your family will be notified of your decision to donate at the time of your death and that your decision to donate is being honored. Inform them now so it will not be a surprise to them at a very difficult time. In the absence of a donor designation or if a person is under the age 18 and is not an emancipated youth, the family will make decisions regarding donation. It is also possible to document your consent for donation in a legal document such as an advance health care directive or living will. However, if your family is unaware of your advanced health care directive or living will, they may be unable to carry out your wish.
- Talk to your faith leader, friends, and physician about your desire to be a donor.
Can I be a donor without being in the Registry?
Yes. Enrollment in the Registry is not an absolute requirement for donation. If you decide to be a donor, but prefer not to join the Registry, it is important to tell your family about your decision. However, telling your family about your decision and joining the Registry is still the best action to take.
What if I’m not a Missouri resident?
If you reside or travel to Missouri, you are encouraged to sign up in Missouri’s registry in addition to your home state registry. For information on how to enroll in your state, visit organdonor.gov. Just click on the drop down menu under “Sign Up to Be a Donor” to choose your state and you will automatically be directed to a site that contains information on how to enroll.