Organ Donation in Connecticut
Organ Donation in Connecticut
Donate Life New England administers organ donation registration for Connecticut residents. Donate Life New England is a joint endeavor of the organ procurement organizations that serve New England: LifeChoice Donor Services and the New England Organ Bank.
As of 2012, 45% of U.S. residents above 18 years old were registered as organ donors. Each year, more than 8,143 people donate organs after death, including organs for kidney transplant, liver transplant, heart transplant, or other organ transplant operations.
With so many Connecticut residents on the waiting list for new organs, registering as an organ donor is very easy. In fact, you may become an organ and tissue donor at any time. Just keep in mind, it is a good idea to discuss the topic with your family.
Sign up today and make a difference in the future when you pass.
Anyone above 18 years old can register to be a Connecticut organ donor. To register when you're 17 years old and under, you must obtain the signature of a parent or guardian. There are no age limits for organ donation. Your medical history is a far more important factor. As long as your have a normal functioning organ and you are in good health, organ or tissue donation is most likely an option.
You can also change your organ donor status at any point:
- Online at the Donate Life New England website. When registering online, you must enter the last 4 digits of your Social Security number.
- By mail with a completed Change of Address and Organ/Tissue Donor Status (Form B-58). Send it to the address listed on the form.
- You can declare yourself an organ donor in person at the Connecticut DMV when getting or renewing your license or state ID.
There are no fees to organ donors or to their families. All costs are paid by the organ procurement organization.
When you sign up as an organ donor, you have legally agreed to donate your organs and tissues in the event of your death.
Your signed organ donor card is considered legal consent for donation. Federal law requires that all hospital deaths be reported to the local organ procurement organization (OPO). The OPO can then check local registries to see if a deceased patient was on the organ donation registry.
If there is no designation on your license or you cannot be found in the registry, your family makes final decisions about organ donation, which can be an incredibly difficult and painful decision during their time of loss. Therefore, it's important to discuss your intentions with your family, including which organs or tissues you're willing to donate. You can also include your wishes about organ donation in living wills and advance health directives.
You can change or update your organ donor profile online the Donate Life New England website.
Besides registering as an organ donor, you can also:
- Volunteer. Donate Life Connecticut is staffed entirely by volunteers managed by a Board of Directors. Volunteers help with administrative duties and public information sessions, and work as public speakers for community groups.
- Give monetary donations to Donate Life Connecticut online. Purchases made through Donate Life Connecticut's online store help support organ donation.
- Donate old but working laptops to Donate Life Connecticut. The laptops are stripped of all applications and data, and are used to connect to the Internet to assist with online organ donations.
- Become a living donor by joining Connecticut's organ donation registry. Most living donors choose to donate to a family member, but a significant minority become altruistic donors. Living tissue donation is an option in the case of kidney transplant and lung transplant, where only a portion of the organ is used.
Organ procurement organizations are organ and tissue clearinghouses that act as conduits to those looking for transplants and replacements. They are interested in the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, and small intestine. They also procure corneas, skin, bone, heart valves, connective tissues, and blood vessels.