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Get the Facts: Does saying “yes” to becoming an organ donor affect the medical care I receive?

Many people that have never considered organ donation or have delayed registering to become a donor do so because of inaccurate information or assumptions about organ donation and transplantation.

Truths about organ donation

One of the most common myths is that a person’s decision to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor affects the level of medical care they receive in case of an emergency. However, medical care is not affected in any way by your status as a registered donor. The doctors who care for a patient in the hospital are not associated with the doctors who perform the organ recovery and transplant surgeries. Medical professionals always exhaust all lifesaving measures and death is declared prior to and independent of donation.

Diane Eckert of Lakewood lived this situation when her brother Cody Crosby was in a terrible car accident in 2013. First responders on the scene did everything they could to save Cody’s life, and although he didn’t survive, Diane is forever grateful for their efforts. She even recently took the opportunity to publicly thank them.

“The outcome isn’t always what we want it to be but because of the fact that they worked so diligently and so hard on my brother, we were able to get some closure that day and also we were able to donate life,” Diane said.

In his death, Cody was able to save the lives of three people through organ donation. He healed countless others through the gift of tissue donation as well.

Get the facts on other common organ donation and transplantation myths by visiting Why Donate. For answers to other questions about organ donation and transplantation, visit our Donation FAQ page.

To register to become an organ, eye and tissue donor you can say “yes” at the driver license office, or anytime at Donate Life Colorado or Donate Life Wyoming.