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Discussing living donation with family and friends

Asking someone to be a living donor involves careful consideration that may create a variety of emotions. But for many people, the shift in thinking from “I need to ask someone to donate an organ” to “I need to inform people about my situation and educate them about organ donation” can have a significant impact on your state of mind and willingness to talk to family members and friends. There are many common concerns. Talk to your transplant team about resources they can provide to help you through this process.

Educate yourself

Once you have the motivation to talk to other people, it is important to educate yourself about living donation. Having the knowledge about organ donation will give you the confidence to talk about your situation and answer any questions raised by others. Read frequently asked questions now >

Talk to your transplant team to be sure you have a complete and accurate understanding of how potential living donors are evaluated and selected.

You may also benefit from speaking to others who have already gone through surgery. Your transplant center may have a list of individuals who are willing to speak to potential donors.

Educate others

Family and friends who are educated about your health problems and need for a transplant can help you find a living donor. Learn more about finding a living donor.

Careful consideration takes time

  • Don’t expect potential donors to respond right away after you discuss donation with them. Some people make their decision immediately while others need time to consider process the details involved with living donation.
  • If anyone expresses interest in living donation, thank them and tell them how to contact the transplant center. Be sure to let them know that they can confidentially discuss their questions or concerns with the transplant team.
  • Keep your options open. Someone may offer to donate when you least expect it.
Reference and Publication Information
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is committed to providing accurate and reliable information for transplant patients. The content on this page was originally created on January 6, 2014 by UNOS and last modified on March 19, 2014. The following sources were used as references:

This Web site is intended solely for the purpose of electronically providing the public with general health-related information and convenient access to the data resources. UNOS is not affiliated with any one product nor does UNOS assume responsibility for any error, omissions or other discrepancies.

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