Hesitating to Register as an Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donor? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Wait

Published March 17, 2022 in Blog

Think for a moment about what you could do in the next nine minutes. You could send an email, call a friend, or make something to eat. Nine minutes is a short amount of time. In those same nine minutes, someone in the United States will be added to the transplant waiting list. Adding your name to the donor registry would provide hope to the more than 100,000 patients waiting for a lifesaving miracle, and registration only takes about two minutes! However, the 2019 National Survey of Organ Donation Attitudes and Practices revealed that 95 percent of Americans support organ donation, but only 60 percent are registered as organ donors.

According to this research, minority groups and those over the age of 50 support organ donation but are reluctant to register as an organ donor. The wait for those in desperate need of an organ transplant can be long, and the number of people on the waiting list keeps getting longer while the number of donors lags significantly behind, especially for minorities. When you say “yes” to organ, eye, and tissue donation you can greatly enhance the lives of those in need. Plus, more than 75 lives can be saved and healed by one donor. If you’re hesitating to get on the organ donor list, here’s why you shouldn’t wait:


  1. Your wishes are made clear: Each year, hundreds of opportunities for transplants are missed because families aren’t sure what to do, in part because their loved one hadn’t made their wishes clear. Families are always consulted about organ donation first and if the family objects to it and their loved one isn’t registered, it’s not possible to proceed with organ donation.
  2. It takes less than five minutes: Signing up for the donor registry is fast, easy, and secure. Click this link and submit your information. It’s a simple but important thing you can do, and it only takes a couple of minutes.
  3. You get to choose how to leave a legacy: When you register as an organ donor, your wishes are carried out exactly how you wanted them to be. If your loved ones know your wishes, they are prepared with a course of action and can help make sure those wishes are fulfilled. They are then left with the legacy of how you continue to impact lives.
  4. It helps close the gap: The number of people who are waiting for an organ transplant far exceeds the number of people who are signed up to be donors, and the difference in the numbers is growing. More than 100,000 people, both children and adults, are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants. Even the largest football stadium in the United States could not fit the number of patients on the national transplant waiting list.
  5. Increases the odds for those who are waiting: Not all donated organs, eyes and tissues are able to be used for transplants. In fact, only three in 100 people die in a way that allows for deceased organ donation. That’s why more willing donors are needed.
  6. You help those in greatest need first: The donation list is impartial, fair, and based strictly on match, medical criteria, time on the list, and the severity of the illness. There are no circumstances where someone can influence their time on the list. Those who have the greatest need are helped first. Although donation and transplantation can take place successfully between individuals from different racial or ethnic groups, transplant success is often better when organs are matched between people of the same racial or ethnic background. And minorities currently make up nearly 58 percent of individuals on the national organ transplant waiting list, which means these communities are in great need of more organ and tissue donors.
  7. Say yes and save lives: When you become a registered organ donor, you’re not potentially saving just one life. By donating you can save up to eight lives, restore sight to two blind people and heal the lives of more than 75 others with your tissues. People who are on an organ waiting list typically have a disease that significantly impacts their quality of life and who may be out of other options. It can also help the donor family work through their loss knowing their loved one helped to save the lives of others.


Sign up today!

The organizations committed to organ donation, like Mid-America Transplant, continue to make strides toward ensuring that organs and tissues are always available to those in need. During 2021, 706 organs were transplanted through the gifts of 258 generous organ donors and their families’ enduring generosity. By registering as an organ or tissue donor, you can bring hope to patients and families who are holding out for a miracle. Sign up for the donor registry and increase the chance that patients waiting will get the transplants they need to survive and get the chance to witness the benefits of organ donation first-hand.