9 Facts You Need to Know (and Share) About Organ Donation in the US

Photo: Ben Grey
sharing-organ-donation-factsWhen it comes to organ donation, most people like to have the facts. Hearing common myths associated with the process, and fear of the unknown can hold a person back in making the decision to become a registered organ donor.

At Taylor’s Gift Foundation, we’ve had the opportunity to witness the incredible life-giving impact that organ donation has on the lives of so many recipients. From transplant recipients like Lisa, Larry, Trent, and Paul; to living donors like Tresha and Jill - not to mention the countless others that we've met along this journey - there are so many stories of hope and inspiration that come from the simple, selfless decision to register to become an organ donor.

Learn the facts, and learn how you can leave an ‘Outlive Yourself’ legacy.

Did You Know...

  • 1. There are over 123,000 people waiting to receive an organ in the US.facts-organ-donation-taylors-gift-foundation

To date, there are 123,017 people that are waiting to receive an organ transplant in the United States. On average, a new name is added to the list every ten minutes. 

  • 2. 90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 45% are registered organ donors.

Studies show that over 90% of Americans are in support of donating, but according to the 2013 Donate Life Report Card, only 45% of Americans that are 18 and older are registered in their state’s registry

  • 3. Medical staff exhaust all possible life saving efforts before testing for brain death.

Many people believe the myth that “Doctors won’t work as hard to save me if I am registered as an organ donor.” However, in the organ donation process, all efforts to save a patient's life are exhausted before testing to determine if brain death has occured.  

  • 4. Most major religions in the US support organ donation.

While the decision to donate is a personal one, many individuals fear that their religion doesn’t support organ donation. However, many major religions support it or state that it is the individual's decision to make - including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and more. 

  • 5. Hospitals are NOT selling organs and tissues for transplant.

The National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 makes it illegal to buy and sell organs, with section 301 stating “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human organ for valuable consideration for use in human transplantation if the transfer affects interstate commerce.”


  • 6. In one day, 18 people will die while waiting on a life-saving transplant.

Everyday, an average of 18 people will die because they did not receive a necessary organ transplant. Looking on the bright side, though, 79 people will receive a transplant that - in many cases - will save their life.

  • 7. You don’t have to be deceased to be a donor.

There are several organs that can be donated from a living donor, with the most common living donation organs being kidneys, livers, and lungs. Read some Frequently Asked Questions about Living Donation.

  • 8. There is no age limit to be a donor.

Many people believe that they are “too old to be an organ donor”, but there are several resources for people over 50 that help dispel this myth.

While it is required to receive parental consent prior to donation for minors that are under the age of 18, babies as young as a week old have been recorded organ donors and Taylor was just 13 when she became an organ donor. 

  • 9. Registering to become an organ donor (or checking your registration) takes less than two minutes.

Organ donor registration is quick, easy, and important to share with loved ones. Visit, talk to your family and friends about your decision, and help make a difference - one conversation at a time.


Share and Support

Show your support by sharing these facts with your friends and family. You can learn more in our “Facts & Myths” and "Statistics" one-sheets.

Check Out the Facts & Myths One-Sheet!

 Get the Statistics One-Sheet  


Tags: Organ Donation Information, Talking About Organ Donation, Facts & Myths About Organ Donation

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