No. People of all ages may be an organ and tissue donor.

Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated.
A physician will decide whether your organs and tissue can be transplanted.

The federally chosen, non-profit, organ procurement organizations (OPO) are in charge of the process. Missouri has two that serve different parts of the state; Mid-America Transplant and Midwest Transplant Network. Missouri also has a tissue bank, Saving Sight. The agencies are in charge of and make the donation process easy. The recovery and transplant process is regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a Division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Patients receive organs and tissues based upon blood type, length of time on the waiting list, severity of illness, and other medical criteria.

A national allocation system ensures the fair distribution of organs in the United States. Social and financial data are not part of the allocation system.
People eligible to receive organs are identified based upon many factors including blood and tissue typing, medical urgency (severity of illness), time on waiting list, other medical criteria, and geographical location.
Race, gender, age, ethnicity, income, or celebrity status are not factors in determining who receives an organ or tissue transplant. Additionally, the law strictly prohibits buying and selling of organs for transplantation.
Donated organs, eyes and tissues are given to people who need them the most. Typically, at the local level, then the regional level, and finally all over the country. Under certain circumstances organs, eyes and tissues may be sent out of the country to help patients in need.
Buying and selling organs is against the law!

A request by a donor or donor family to give the gift to a named person. The gift must go through a medical review and match the named person. Most often, the donor or donor family is related to or knows the named person.

Yes. However organ size, which is affected by gender, is critical to match a donor heart, lung, or liver with a recipient. Genetic makeup can be a factor when matching a kidney or pancreas donor and recipient because of the importance of tissue matching. Optimal tissue matching can happen within the same racial and genetic background. For example, an individual of Asian descent may match better with a kidney donated from another Asian versus a different race. However, cross-racial donations can and do happen with great success when matches are available.

Organs are recovered as soon as possible after death is legally declared. Tissue can be removed up to 24 hours after death.


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