By donating tissue, you can help prevent and treat disease and reduce the number of animals used in medical research and testing.
1. Register to be a tissue donor with Donate Life.
Conducting research with human tissue allows for faster development of more effective, safer drugs and a better understanding of how disease affects humans. Research using human tissue can expand our fundamental understanding of human biology and help us develop disease diagnostics, future therapies, and treatment protocols.
Donating tissue helps increase the number of human samples available for research that could help prevent and treat diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. By registering to be an organ and tissue donor, you can help save and improve human lives and reduce and replace animals used in research. Although transplantation always takes precedence over research, organs can be donated to research when transplantation is not possible.
After registering, update your preferences to include tissue donation for research purposes. Go to your profile preferences through Donate Life at RegisterMe.org and specify to include tissue donation for research purposes.
2. Learn more about donating tissue after surgery.
Individuals can donate surgically retrieved blood and tissue, such as tumors, excess skin, or diseased organs. Scientists have recently used tissue from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to develop a new model to study how the disease develops and progresses and to rapidly assess new treatments for ALS. Researchers have also used human skin left over from surgeries to develop a test that more accurately identifies skin irritants than animal tests do.
Organizations such as the National Disease Research Interchange accept tissue from both living and post-mortem donors.
3. Tell your family.
Sharing your wishes with your family and loved ones can prevent potential confusion. In some states, even after registering, it is still left up to the family to decide what happens with organs and tissue after death. If it helps you, you’re welcome to copy and paste the below image and suggested text to help begin that conversation.
I want you to know that I am a registered organ and tissue donor. It’s my hope that when I pass away, my gift will either benefit someone who is in need of an organ or tissue transplant or support research that relies on donated organs or tissues.
Donating your organs and tissues can even help save animals; as donors increase the number of human samples available for research that could help prevent and treat diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, they help to reduce the number of animals used in scientific research and medical testing.
I wanted to make my wishes clear now to avoid any potential confusion that could occur at my time of death.
If you have any questions about my wishes or about organ and tissue donation, please ask me or read more about it at PCRM.org/DonateTissue. Thank you for your love and support.
Become an Organ and Tissue Donor