Legacy Donor Foundation New Orleans
  • 2701 Kingman St., Suite 101 Metairie, LA 70006
  • (800) 404-0708
  • Mon-Fri:  8:00am-5:00pm

Learn the Facts

People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated.
All major religions support donation as a final act of compassion and generosity.
There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate for donation. The donor family pays only for medical expenses before death and costs associated with funeral arrangements.
An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process the body is treated with care and respect. Funeral arrangements can continue as planned following donation.
Your life always comes first. Doctors work hard to save every patient’s life, but sometimes there is a complete and irreversible loss of brain function. The patient is declared clinically and legally dead. Only then is donation an option.
No. A national system matches available organs from the donor with people on the waiting list based on blood type, body size, how sick they are, donor distance, tissue type and time on the list. Race, income, gender, celebrity and social status are never considered.
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. People of African American/Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native and multiracial descent currently make up nearly 58% of individuals on the national organ transplant waiting list. These communities are in great need of more organ and tissue donors.

Common Myths and Misconceptions

MYTH

If I am in an accident and medical personnel find my driver’s license, they won’t try to save my life.

FACT

The number-one priority is to save every life. Paramedics, nurses and doctors will do EVERYTHING possible to save your life. Organ Donation is only an option after all life-saving efforts have failed.


MYTH

There is no difference between being brain dead and being in a coma.

FACT

Brain death is pronounced when there is a lack of blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Brain death is the medical, legal and moral determination of death. To verify brain death, a series of tests are performed over a period of time and more than one diagnosis is required before the donor’s family is presented with the opportunity to donate. There is no recovery from brain death.


MYTH

My family will not be able to have an open casket at my funeral because organ and tissue donation means my body may be disfigured.

FACT

Organ and tissue donation will not interfere with traditional funeral arrangements such as an open casket. Doctors maintain the utmost respect for the donor and organs are removed in a routine operation similar to other types of surgeries.


MYTH

My religion does not support donation.

FACT

All major religions consider donation to be an individual decision, or support it and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.


MYTH

The rich and famous receive preferential treatment on the waiting list.

FACT

Financial and celebrity status do not determine who receives a transplant. A national computer network, maintained by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), matches organs according to height, weight and blood type, followed by medical urgency and then time accrued on the waiting list. Age, race, gender, religious affiliation or financial status are not factors that determine who receives a transplant.


MYTH

I am too old to register to become an organ donor.

FACT

There is no set age limit for organ donation. Potential donors are evaluated on a case-by-case basis at the time of their death to determine which organs and tissues are suitable for donation.


MYTH

My organs aren’t of any value because of my medical illnesses.

FACT

Few illnesses or conditions prevent someone from being a donor. At the time of death, CORE reviews medical and social histories to determine suitability. Poor vision, cataracts and glaucoma do not eliminate someone’s ability to donate. The ability to donate is determined on a case-by-case basis. Although someone may not be able to donate blood, it does not always prevent the individual from donating organs and tissues.


MYTH

I cannot specify which organs I want to donate.

FACT

If necessary, you can specify which organs and tissues you wish to donate in your will.


MYTH

I do not need to tell my family that I would like to be a donor.

FACT

Discussing death can be uncomfortable for many, but talking to your family now takes the burden off of them at the time of your passing.


MYTH

If I do not register as an organ donor, my organs and tissues won’t be donated.

FACT

Without a donor designation, your legally authorized representative (usually a spouse or relative) will be offered the opportunity to donate. To ensure your wishes are fulfilled, place the designation on your license/state identification card, and talk to your family about your decision to donate.


MYTH

Families can override a donor’s wishes.

FACT

For individuals at least 18 years-old, a signed donor card or donor designation on the license are recognized as legally binding.


MYTH

Organs go to people who didn’t take care of theirs.

FACT

Organs go to people who were born with or developed diseases that have caused organ failure. Less than five percent of people awaiting transplant have destroyed their organ through substance abuse and they must achieve and sustain sobriety before they can be listed for transplant.


MYTH

My family will have to pay for costs related to my donation.

FACT

Donors and their families are not responsible for any costs related to donation. All costs are incurred by the organ procurement organization.


MYTH

Organs are bought and sold on the black market.

FACT

In alliance with the National Organ Transplant Act, the buying and selling of organs and tissue is illegal. Additionally, due to the complexity of organ transplantation, necessary involvement from highly trained medical professionals, the process of matching donors with recipients, the need for modern medical facilities, and the support required for transplantation, it would be impossible for organs to be bought or sold on the black market.


MYTH

The recipient will learn my identity.

FACT

Information about an organ donor is only released to the recipient if the family of the donor requests or agrees to it. Otherwise, a patient’s privacy is maintained for both donor families and recipients.