Organ & Tissue Donation
Frequently Asked Questions -
Who can become a donor?
People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential organ, tissue and eye donors.Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what can be donated. Medical criteria changes regularly.
Because of the critical need for more transplantable organs, there is also a growing number of living donors. Living donation can include a kidney, part of a lung or a section of a liver. For more information on living organ donation, visit our Resources/Links.
Almost 100,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. Your decision to donate your organs can save the lives of up to eight people, and directly improve the lives of up to 50 people through tissue donation. After an organ or tissue transplant, people can return to work, school and their family -- all because an unknown hero gave them the gift of life.
How do I express my wish to become an
organ, tissue and eye donor?
1. Fill out the Michigan Organ Donor Registry form.
2. Once received, the Michigan Secretary of State will mail you
a Donor sticker to place on the front of your driver's license
or state ID.
What is the Michigan Organ Donor Registry?
The registry is a confidential, 24 hours a day, computerized database that documents your wish to become an organ, tissue and eye donor.
How do I confirm that I am registered?
If you already have the Donor designation on the front of your driver's license or state ID, you are registered. If not, you will need to register by filling out the Michigan Organ Donor Registry form.
What if I am already on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry?
You must sign up again to receive the Donor sticker for your driver's license or state ID.
Can I indicate specific organs and/or tissues for donation?
No, because medical technology advancements, the types of organs and tissues used for transplantation and research may change. It is best to share specific organs and/or tissues for donation with family and/or your patient advocate.
Why is it important to register my wish to become a donor?
Upon every hospital death, Gift of Life Michigan is notified. Having your donor registry form on file helps to ensure that your decision to become a donor is carried out. Even when you sign the donor registry it is ESSENTIAL THAT YOUR FAMILY KNOWS your wishes.
Will doctors work as hard to save my life if they know I am an organ, tissue and eye donor?
Yes. Every effort is made to save your life before donation is considered. By law, the medical team treating you must be seperate from the transplant team.
Are there any costs to my family?
No. It costs nothing to donate organs or tissues, and no costs associated with the donation are passed on to the donor's family or estate.
Can normal funeral arrangements be made?
Yes. Donation does not interfere with having a funeral, including open casket services.
Will my religion approve of donation?
Most major religions approve of organ, tissue and eye donation, and consider donation one of the highest acts of compassion and generosity. For a list of specific religious organizations and their positions on donation, click here.
Who is Gift of Life Michigan?
Gift of Life Michigan is a full service organ and tissue recovery organization that acts as the intermediary between donors, physicians and hospital staff. Gift of Life, in collaboration with the Michigan Eye-Bank, provides all services necessary for organ, tissue and eye donation.
Can I donate money to support programs that encourage residents to sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry?
Yes. Donate to the Michigan Organ and Tissue Donation Education Fund.
Click here for more information.
I’m under 18. Can I be a donor?
People of all ages should consider themselves potential organ, tissue and eye donors. You should sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry to have your wishes stored in our confidential database. If you are a minor, however, your signed donor registry cannot be used as a document of first person consent.
If you are a minor, however, your signed donor registry cannot be used as a document of first person consent. You always need to talk to your family to tell them of your decision. Use our convenient e-postcard links below to help start the conversation.