Myths, Facts and Statistics Regarding Organ Donation

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), some of the most common myths about organ donation include the following:

  • Myth: If you agree to donate your organs, your family will be charged for the costs.
    • Fact: There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate for organ and tissue donation. Funeral costs remain the responsibility of the family.
  • Myth: When you’re waiting for a transplant, your financial or celebrity status is as important as your medical status.
    • Fact: When you are on the transplant waiting list for a donor organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information.
  • Myth: Your religion prohibits organ donation.
    • Fact: All major organized religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider it an act of charity.
  • Myth: If emergency room doctors know you’re an organ donor, they won’t work as hard to save you.
    • Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ donation can only be considered after brain death has been declared by a physician. Many states have adopted legislation allowing individuals to legally designate their wish to be a donor should brain death occur, although in many states Organ Procurement Organizations also require consent from the donor’s family.

More myths can be found at UNOS.

National Statistics:

  • 90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to take to be a donor.
  • According to Donate Life America, more than 100,000 men, women and children currently need life-saving organ transplants.
  • An average of 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.
  • Organs and tissue from one donor can help or save as many as 50 people.
  • More stats can be found at Donate Life Today.

Shaina McCloud, Executive Assistant


What you need to know about organ donation. (n.d.) Retrieved September 13, 2021