How do I Become a Licensed Organ Donor?
Many people chose to donate their organs after their passing. Some may want their organs to be used as transplants, while others want them to be used for research and medical education.
The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act adopted by every state governs organ donations in the United States. This Act created the organ donor card that some donors chose to carry with them, while others chose to put a special sticker on their driver’s license to indicate that they are an organ donor.
In Florida, you can register as an organ donor online at the Joshua Abbott Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. You can also register when you request to renew your driver’s license. Most importantly, can document your wishes as part of your estate plan in a will or an advanced health care directive. A health care directive not only allows you to choose whether to be an organ donor, but also whether you would like to remain on life support or not in certain scenarios.
How do I Donate my Organs as part of my Estate Plan?
When preparing your estate plan, not only can you provide directives as to the administration of your estate, but you can also give instructions as to what will happen to your body after you pass away. Providing such instructions yourself would save your family from conflict over what should be done with your body and how you would have wanted to be buried.
When it comes to body and organ donation, there are several options you can choose from. For example, if you chose full body donation, it is possible to make arrangements with an anatomical donation company before your death and have that company take care of everything after your passing.
If you decide to donate only your organs, instead of the entire body, you have different options as well. For example, you can choose that only some of your organs be donated, but not others. You can also choose the purposes that those organs can be used for. Such purposes can include research, transplanting or any purpose that your organs may be useful for.
Can my Family Override Organ Donation in Florida?
No. If you have your wishes legally documented in your estate plan or you are enrolled in an organ donation registry, your family cannot override your decision. Moreover, according to the Florida Anatomical Gift Act adopted in 2009, a family member or guardian may not make any changes to the donor’s decision after his death.
However, if your decision to be an organ donor has not been legally documented, in the event that you die or become incapacitated, the decision of whether to donate your organs will go to your guardian. In such a case, federal law requires that every next of kin/guardian of the deceased is asked whether they consent to the organs of the deceased being donated.
A comprehensive estate plan helps prevent any confusion that might arise within your family after your passing. An estate plan would also include special donor card provisions that would ensure that your wish to donate your organs could not be challenged.