We hear a lot of myths about donation. One of the most common myths is that deceased donors can’t have an open casket funeral after organ donation.
The facts: Donors are always treated with the utmost respect and dignity throughout the entire donation process. Neither organ nor tissue donation affects funeral arrangements, including interfering with the ability to have an open casket.
If your loved one’s organs and tissues are eligible to be donated, a team of specialist surgeons recovers them in an aseptic procedure. To show respect to the donor, incisions are closed and their body is cared for in a way that still allows an open casket funeral. Organs are then transported to recipients, and tissues are used to create grafts for transplant.
What happens to your body after your organs are donated?
We take great care in treating families of donors with the same dignity and respect owed to donors. Once the organ and tissue recovery process has been completed, the donor’s body is released to their family. The entire donation process is usually completed in 24-36 hours. The family may then proceed with any funeral arrangements.
Why Learning the Facts About Donation is Important
Many people who have never considered donation or have delayed signing up to become an organ, eye and tissue donor, do so because of incorrect information they’ve heard or assumptions they’ve made about donation and transplantation.
In the U.S., there are more than 100,000 people waiting for a lifesaving transplant. In our region alone, there are nearly 2,000 people waiting. Many people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant may never get a second chance at life because of the lack of transplantable organs. Debunking myths and learning the facts helps you to make the decision to sign up as an organ, eye and tissue donor based on accurate information.
For more facts and other common donation and transplantation myths, visit Understanding Donation. Learn more and sign up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at your local DMV office, or online anytime here in Colorado and here in Wyoming. Make sure you also share what you learned and your donation decision with your family and loved ones.