Will lawyers help California residents to make all kinds of decisions based on federal, state, and local laws. From what to do with property to who will become a child’s guardian, there is no shortage of topics that should be considered. One of the areas that you will likely want to discuss with your estate planning lawyer is organ, tissue, and body donation.
In the United States alone, hundreds of thousands of individuals are waiting for transplant surgeries that can potentially save their lives. It is possible that a gift of your organs or other tissues can make an incredible change for that person and his or her family. While this certainly has the potential to be a wonderful thing, organ donation is not for everyone.
For some people, there are religious rules that preclude the donation of organs. Most major religions, however, take the view that life is to be revered and that organ donation is a generous act. Still, it is a good idea to consult with your religious leader if you have any questions about the appropriateness of organ donation. Your attorney will also likely have considerable experience and will be able to offer advice.
Organs and Tissues Considered for Donation
As medical science continues to advance, so do the types of tissues that can be successfully transplanted. Some of those commonly transplanted now include:
- Bone marrow
Finding a good match between a donor and a recipient isn’t always easy, but one person who donates many tissues and organs can actually help as many as 50 patients in California and beyond. Various guidelines have to be followed, but these are typically things that are out of your control, regarding the cause of your death, how quickly surgeons can retrieve the organs, etc.
Donating Your Body to Science
Another option is to leave your body “to science.” It is not uncommon for medical schools to accept donations of whole bodies—this means with the organs included. Generally speaking, the medical school will take care of arrangements to transport your body and may also pay for it to be buried or cremated at a later time.
If this is of interest to you, make sure to contact the school to ensure that they accept such donations. You may also need to make some alternate plans in case the school doesn’t need donations at the time of your death. Again, your estate planning lawyer can help to put together a plan that works for your needs.
Make Your Wishes Known
Finally, don’t forget to include your wishes about organ or tissue donation in your estate planning documents! Doing so will ensure that your loved ones are clear about your choices. If you need help getting started with creating a plan that incorporates your wishes for organ, tissue, or body donation, contact our The Law Offices of Jonathan G Stein at 916.247.6868 to schedule an appointment.