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Living donation takes place when a living person donates an organ (or part of an organ) for transplantation to another person. The living donor is usually a family member or friend of the recipient.
If you are thinking about being a nondirected living donor, you should follow these steps:
To begin, you should first read everything you can about living donation, outcomes, risks, and benefits.Q&A on living donation: Read the Q&A carefully to ensure that you understand the risks and benefits, the evaluation process, surgery process, and possible outcomes.
Consensus Statement on the Live Organ Donor: The Consensus Statement was published in the December 13, 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Table 1 lists elements of disclosure for potential living donors meaning, these are all the things you should ask the transplant center prior to donation. That way you can make an informed decision.
Make sure you understand the risks and benefits of donation. Think about your reasons for wanting to donate, and the impact of the donation on you and your family emotionally, physically, and financially.
Living donation is a gift made from the donor to the recipient with no expectation of material compensation. Under U.S. law, it is illegal to buy or sell organs. Donors are never financially compensated. Under federal law, it is illegal to receive money or gifts in exchange for an organ donation. In addition, donors are often responsible for their own travel expenses and any time lost from work.
If you decide to pursue donation, you will need to contact transplant centers (hospitals that perform transplant operations) in your area about the possibility of being a living donor. Or, you can contact other organizations that help facilitate living donation.
You may also want to meet with a financial counselor at the hospital to discuss your situation as it relates to lost work time, testing expenses, etc. Most transplant centers have a financial counselor who can help you.
You may not be able to be a living donor or you may decide that living donation isn't right for you. You can still help those awaiting lifesaving organ transplants. Here are a few ways you can make a difference.
Be a Donor after your death.
Donate blood, which also saves lives every day. For more information about blood donation, call the American Red Cross at (800) GIVELIFE or visit their website.
Join the bone marrow registry. For more information about bone marrow or blood stem cell donation, contact the National Marrow Donor Program at (800) MARROW2 or visit their website.