Learn About Donation

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many myths and misperceptions about organ and tissue donation stemming from cultural beliefs, distrust of the medical establishment, and even urban legends. For the nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents waiting for a life-saving transplant, sharing the correct information is a matter of life and death. 

Will my own medical care be compromised if the hospital is aware that I have an organ donor designation on my license?

No. The decision to be an organ donor will in no way affect the level of medical care for a sick or injured person. The team of doctors and nurses involved in treating the patient is not involved with the recovery/transplant team, which is called only after death has occurred.

Are there additional costs to be an organ and/or tissue donor?

There is never a charge to the family or estate of the donor for organ and tissue recovery. All associated recovery costs are paid by NJ Sharing Network. It is an altruistic gift and by law, NJ Sharing Network is not able to pay for any other funeral or hospital charges unrelated to the donation process.

Will the donation impact traditional funeral services?

The cause and circumstances of death could have an impact on timing and funeral arrangements. It is important to work with an experienced funeral director. During the recovery procedure, the utmost care and respect is taken with the donor’s body and every effort is made to meet your needs. Donated organs and tissues are removed by skilled medical professionals in a sterile surgical procedure.

Can organ transplants be “bought” by the wealthy and powerful?

No. Organs are computer matched according to compatibility of donor and recipient tissue, determined by various tests, waiting time, and the medical need of the recipient. Social or financial data are not part of the computer database and therefore, are not factors in the determination of who receives an organ.

Do all religions support organ and tissue donation?

Most religions support donation and consider it the greatest gift a person can give.

When I register as an organ and tissue donor, what am I authorizing?

NJ Donate Life registry authorizes the recovery of organs, eyes and tissues for transplant. It does not authorize donation for research. If organs are not suitable for donation at the time of death, the family will have the option to donate to research.

Do I have to be 18 to register? What happens if you aren’t?

You may register as a donor if you are under 18. Such a registration is considered intent, not authorization, to donate. If the minor is ever in a position to be an actual donor, the family's permission will we be required. Once the minor turns 18, he/she will be contacted and asked to update his/her record. If this step is complete, the registration will be considered full legal authorization. If not, the document of gift will be noted as registered while under 18 years old and as such will be considered intent to donate, which will be shared with the family.

Is there an age limit for donation?

There is no definitive age limit for organ donation. NJ Sharing Network has successfully procured organs from donors as young as a few days to adults in their 90s. A patient’s medical history is more important than the age of the donor. If a patient has a normal functioning organ and is in good health, then organ donation can be an option.

Do I have to renew my organ donor designation every time I renew my driver’s license or state-issued ID?

Yes. Every time you renew your license or state-issued identification card, be sure to indicate your donor designation. You can also register online.

Don't see your question listed here? Contact us and we'll do our best to answer it for you. Don't be shy, all questions are great questions!



Chapter 1 - The Decision To Donate Will Not Impact the Medical Care for a Sick or Injured Person


Chapter 2 - Funeral Arrangements


Chapter 3 - Religious Perspective 


Chapter 4 - Factors Impacting Organ Donation and Transplantation

Chapter 5 - Living Donation