- Sign up with the California Organ Donor Registry.
- When you apply for or renew your driver’s license, check “Yes” to organ donation.
- Sign a donor card, if available, and keep it with you.
Many people with estate plans detail how they want any of their assets distributed after they die. In general, most designate any remaining funds, real estate, and other valuables to beneficiaries, which may include relatives, friends, institutions or other organizations. These allocations are, in a sense, their legacy and what they leave behind. Their wishes can be specified in their estate plans, so that there is no confusion about one’s desires once he or she passes. But, what if that legacy was more precious than any amount of money or land or stocks? What if they could give life after their death? We’re talking about organ donation. Before you turn away from such a sensitive subject, consider the many benefits for so many people. There is an acute shortage of organs, with over 120,000 Americans currently on waiting lists for transplants. The number of cases is increasing and every single day people are dying as they wait for needed organs. Many families we talk with believe that knowing their loved one helped save other lives helped them cope with their loss. In fact, organ donation could also enhance the lives of as many as 50 or 60 ailing individuals through organ donation. Transplanted, life-saving organs can include the heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, liver, and intestines. Tissues, such as bones, ligaments and tendons, can also be used in important surgical procedures to repair injured or diseased joints and bones. Corneas, heart valves and skin may also be donated. There are no limits on the ages of donors. Organ donations from all ethnicities are needed. All major religions support the practice. The donor lists are “blind,” so names are not publically disclosed, there is no preferential treatment, and organs are allocated based on very strict rules. Over 80 percent of Americans believe in the benefits of organ donation, but fewer than 60 percent are actually registered to become donors. Registration is free and neither you nor your family will ever have to pay any costs associated with the donation. Becoming a donor is very simple: