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Tips: This Year Decide to be an Organ Donor
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, January 2007

A great way to start the New Year is to focus on how you can help others. If you are in relatively good physical shape, consider being an organ/tissue donor. You can change someone's life forever.

Work Through the Decision Process - Making the choice to be an organ donor takes serious thought. Consider how you would feel if you, your spouse, child, parent or sibling needed an organ to stay alive. Imagine what it would be like if you were given the gift of life.

Discuss With Your Family - They may be the ones to intervene by signing a consent form to permit your organs to be donated. By communicating your donor wishes to your family in person, you will make it clear to them that you wish to be an organ donor should the need arise and that they should cooperate fully to make this a reality.

Document It - This is done by designating your donor status on your driver’s license. You can also put your intentions in writing. Your Last Will and Testament may not be the document to use for this information, as donating organs in most instances is timely and most Wills are not immediately read at death. Discuss with your attorney if you should draft a special document or if a letter signed by you will suffice as sufficient notice to loved ones. Let your family know that the document exists and of its whereabouts so that everyone is informed.

You have the gift of life should you choose to use it.

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