Choosing to donate your organs and tissues is one of the more generous things you can do during your lifetime. If you feel strongly about organ and tissue donation, you have probably registered as an organ donor through Donate Life Florida. You also may have an organ donation symbol on your driver’s license or identification card.
Doctors typically do not have long to remove and transplant organs. Indeed, according to the Donor Alliance, transplantation of most organs must take place between 4 and 36 hours after their removal. To ensure medical professionals, family members and others respect your wishes during this tight timeframe, you probably want to have more than just your organ donation registration.
A living will
A living will is a popular and important estate planning tool, as it tells everyone about the end-of-life care you want to receive. If you want to donate organs and tissues, you should outline your intentions in your living will. Remember, your living will can state which organs and tissues you want to donate and which ones you want to remain with your body.
A health care proxy
Because timing is critical with organ donation, you may not want to rely on doctors and others to find and read through your living will. Therefore, it may make sense to name a health care proxy. Because this person can make medical decisions for you when you cannot make them for yourself, he or she can advocate for the donation of your organs and tissues in real time.
Ultimately, rather than leaving your selfless gift to chance, it is time either to create an estate plan that leaves no doubts about your intentions.