13 Mar The gift of life
What you should know about organ and tissue donation.
Who can be a donor?
Any person who is in good health, and is clear of defined chronic diseases that might adversely affect the recipient, will be considered as a possible donor.
Can I be a donor if I have an existing medical condition?
Having a medical condition does not necessarily prevent a person from becoming an organ/tissue donor. The decision about which organs/tissue will be transplanted will be established at your time of death.
Which organs can be transplanted?
Your heart, liver and pancreas can save 3 lives and your kidney and lungs can save up to 4 people. You can save seven lives.
Which tissue can be transplanted?
You can help up to 50 people by donating your corneas, skin, bone, tendons and heart valves.
How soon after death should the organs/tissue be removed?
It is essential that organs are removed as soon as possible after brain death has been declared in order to ensure successful transplantation. Legislation requires brain death to be certified by two independent doctors.
Is there any cost to sign up as a donor?
No, it costs nothing to sign up as a donor. Simply sign up at www.odf.org.za
Can people buy or sell organs and tissue?
No, donation is a gift of life from one family to another. Trading in organs and tissue is illegal.
Will being a donor delay the funeral?
No. As soon as the donated organs/ tissue has been removed, the body is returned to the family to bury or cremate.
Will the body be disfigured?
No, dignity is given to the donor at all times. The process does not change the way the body looks.