ER’s final season and the recent premiere of Grey’s Anatomy were emotional reminders about the importance of organ donation. Family members in both series had to make hard decisions about whether to make organ donations. If you feel strongly about organ donation, one way or the other, it is important to let your family and friends know how you feel. Not only that but you should put your feelings in writing so that family and loved ones know how to carry out your wishes.
In California you can spell out your wishes in an Advance Health Care Directive. You can state whether you want organ donation, whether you don’t, and if you do, what organs and for what purposes. You can specify that you only want to donate organs for transplant or also for education or research. Another way to make organ donation possible is to put a sticker on your driver’s license. In California you can also sign up online with Donate Life California, a nonprofit organ and tissue donor registry. Registration with this entity could speed up the donation process if family members could not locate your advance health care directive.
Statistics show that the need for organs is growing but the amount of organs available for donation is not keeping up with the need. Specifying your feelings about organ donation is just one piece of estate planning. Your family and friends also need to know how you feel about end of life issues and health care, how you want your assets to be distributed upon your death, and who you want to distribute your estate. Putting your wishes down in writing to guide your family and loved ones is the best gift you can give them. Contact our firm if we can help with putting these important decisions down in the appropriate estate plan to meet your goals and specify your wishes.