One of the commonly used but often overlooked details in estate plans involves organ donation. A growing number of people are interested in stipulating that organ donation be part of their estate plans.
The following will take a brief examination of the organ donation process in Oklahoma and provides answers to some of the most common questions that people ask about the organ donation process.
Why People Consider Donating
Statistics reveal that each day in the United States, 21 people die waiting for an organ transplant. Organ donation can help friends, loved ones, and even strangers in need live longer and healthier lives.
If you would like to play this valuable role in someone else’s life, it is critical to make sure that these wishes are clearly expressed in your estate planning documents.
Types of Organs That can be Donated
It is possible due to medical innovations to now donate either organs and/or tissue.
When it comes to organs, while a person is still alive, he or she can donate one kidney or a section of his or her liver. After a person’s death, it is possible to donate hearts, intestines, kidneys, liver, lungs, and the pancreas.
Some of the tissues that can be donated include blood vessels, bones, corneas, heart valves, and skin. While some of these tissues can be donated while a person is still alive, others can only be donated after death.
Common Fears About Organ Donation
Many people avoid becoming organ donors out of concern that medical professionals will keep them alive longer than is necessary on life support equipment so their organs can be harvested. In reality, medical professionals owe you a duty as a patient and their judgment will not be impacted in this way. Another common concern is that a person’s religion does not condone organ donation. In reality, a number of faiths view organ donation as a noble act.
The Organ Donation Process in Oklahoma
If you live in Oklahoma and are interested in becoming an organ donor, the first step is to sign up at the Oklahoma organ donor registry. After enrolling in this registry, your next new driver’s license will contain a designation that you are an organ donor.
In many cases, however, it is not enough to designate that you are an organ donor in this way. Instead, it is helpful to include the desire to have your organs donated in your estate planning documents, including your health care directives.
To avoid uncertainty among your loved ones about your organ donation wishes, it is important to tell others how you feel about the organ donation process so that these individuals can make sure that your decisions are carried out following your death.
If you have appointed a healthcare power of attorney, it is particularly important to make sure that he or she knows your desires to have your organs donated.
Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
If you have questions or concerns about the organ donation process or are wondering how it might fit into the estate planning process, it can help to speak with an experienced attorney.
Contact estate planning lawyer Jim A Lyon today to schedule a free initial consultation.