How do I donate my body?

Please note:  Donate Life Texas is specific to organ, eye and tissue donation only and does not cover whole body donation.  Such arrangements must be made with a body donation program directly and made known to the individual’s legal next of kin.

 

A variety of things can happen after donation.  Following the organ, eye and tissue donation procedures, the body is transported to the funeral home or mortuary of the family’s choice — as would have been the case had donation not been an option. There, the full range of funeral options is open to donors, including open-casket viewings, visitation, funeral and memorial services, burial or cremation.

There is no cost to the family for organ, eye and tissue donation – all costs associated with donation are the responsibility of the recovery organizations once death has been declared.  After the donation is complete, the body is then released to the funeral home or mortuary of the family’s choosing.  Because laws prohibit organ recovery organizations from providing financial incentives to donor families, the funeral costs for organ-only donors are the responsibility of the family.

Depending on the circumstances, an organ, eye and tissue donor’s body may be released to a whole body donation program – this is sometimes referred to as “donating a body to science.”  Guidelines for these programs vary widely and do change periodically.  To find out more about how each program works, what conditions they have and what costs they cover, you would need to contact them directly to inquire.

For those enrolled with a whole body donation program, it is possible to make note of these arrangements on a Donate Life Texas donor registry record, as follows:

  • Click My DLT
  • Enter your personal information to access your registration record
  • You will also be asked to confirm that you are “not a Robot,” as a security step. Just click on the blue circle and when you see the green check mark, proceed to the next step.
  • Once your record has been retrieved, look about midway down the screen for a space to input information about the Body Donation Program you have enrolled with
  • After making your selections, click Continue at the bottom of the page
  • You will be taken to a screen with a summary for you to review and approve
  • This screen also offers the opportunity to email friends and family of your decisions
  • To finalize your new registration selections, click Complete at the bottom of the page
  • You will receive an email confirmation of the changes you have made

If organ, eye and tissue donation isn’t an option for a person who has passed away, their Donate Life registration might not be accessed at all, so again, family members need to be made aware of body donation arrangements.

If you register with a body donation program, please keep in mind that the condition of the body at the time of death may render it ineligible for donation. For this reason, it is wise to have an alternate plan for the final disposition of the body.

Please note:  Registering with Donate Life Texas is not intended to serve as a way to make arrangements for the final disposition of one’s body.

Do I need a donor card?

You’ll be pleased to know that donor cards are no longer needed for those on the Donate Life donor registry.

Registering records your decision to be a donor and makes it known to the right people at the right time, automatically.  Neither you nor your family members need to do anything else or keep track of cards or letters.

It may be helpful to know that not all deaths happen in a way that allows donation to occur and family members will only be contacted by organ, eye and tissue recovery specialists if donation is an option.  If donation is not an option, donation specialists will not contact the family to spare them any unnecessary hassle during what is an already stressful time.

This short video provides important details about the donation and transplantation process you may find helpful, educational and inspiring.

What is the donation process?

For those on the registry, there are no further steps needed to ensure that the donation process is initiated at the time of death.  Neither you nor your family members need to do anything else.  You don’t even need to carry a donor card with you.

Registering records your decision to be a donor and makes it known to the right people at the right time, automatically.  Your registration leaves this precious, lifesaving option open, helping to ensure that no medically-viable organ or tissue is lost for lack of consent.

This short video provides important details about the donation and transplantation process you may find helpful, educational and inspiring:

 

If you would like to learn even more about the process, please click here to continue reading for more in-depth details.

Please note:  Registering with Donate Life Texas is not intended to serve as a way to make arrangements for the final disposition of one’s body.