Senior Legal Line – A legal question and answer line for seniors.

Dear Senior Legal Line:

I want to donate my organs after I die, but I am 89 years old – am I too old to donate organs? I also have diabetes. Will having a chronic disease stop me from being able to donate organs?

Signed,
Colten

Dear Colten:

Everyone has the potential to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor, even if they are older or have one or more diseases. According to LifeSource, the organ procurement organization covering Minnesota, most health conditions do not prevent donation and age is not a factor. There is no age cutoff for donation. In fact, LifeSource says that their oldest donor was 92. Whether or not you have usable organs at the time of your death is a medical decision, not based on age.

As of January 2016 in Minnesota, over 3300 people wait for a transplant. To see Minnesota’s current waiting list go to https://goo.gl/Y8jKoy. Without a transplant, many of those people will die. You have the chance to be a hero to that person and their family. It is difficult to think about what happens to your body when you die, but deciding to donate your organs can bring life to others – anywhere from 50 to 60 people. Your body could donate its heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, liver, intestines, skin, veins, tendons, bone, heart valves and connective tissue, and whole eyes or corneas.

Being a donor will make no difference in the care you receive while you are alive. Your doctors will still work hard to save you, because you always come first. It is only when you are truly dead that the focus changes to organ donation.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

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