Can a donor have an open-casket funeral?

Yes. Organ, eye and tissue donation doesn’t interfere with having an open-casket funeral.

A variety of things can happen after donation.  The organ, eye and tissue recovery process is performed by trained surgeons and medical personnel in an operating room, most often at a hospital but sometimes at a different specialized facility.  When the recovery is complete, all incisions are closed, much as they would be following surgery.

Afterward, 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 and consent for donation has been obtained.  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.

At all times, the donor is treated with the utmost respect and dignity.  After all, the decision to donate is one that saves lives.

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.

I want to donate my body

A variety of things can happen after donation.  The organ, eye and tissue recovery process is performed by trained surgeons and medical personnel in an operating room, most often at a hospital but sometimes at a different specialized facility.  When the recovery is complete, all incisions are closed, much as they would be following surgery.

Afterward, the body can be transported to the funeral home or mortuary of the family’s choice where the full range of funeral options is open to donors, including open-casket viewings, visitation, funeral and memorial services, burial or cremation.

Depending on the circumstances, the body of an organ, eye and tissue donor can be transitioned to a whole body program after donation.  However, prior arrangements with a whole body program and family notification are strongly advised.

Since the Donate Life Texas registry is specific only to organ, eye and tissue donation, your registration does not include whole body donation as well.  If you are interested in whole body donation, please contact the program of your choice to learn more and to register directly.

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.