Myths about Transplants

Myth: Only the heart, liver and kidneys can be transplanted.

Fact: The lungs, pancreas and intestines can also be transplanted, as can tissues, such as eyes, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons.

Myth: Rich people and celebrities can get moved to the top of the organ waiting list.

Fact: The United Network for Organ Sharing ( waiting list is blind to income, celebrity and social standing. What determines your place on the list is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type and other important medical information.

Myth: If I have agreed to be an organ donor and I am in an accident, the hospital won’t work as hard to save my life.

Fact: If you are ever in the hospital with a life-threatening condition, your medical team’s mission is to save your life, not another person’s. You will be treated by a physician who specializes in your area of need and has nothing to do with transplantation.

Myth: If I donate my organs, I will not be able to have an open-casket funeral.

Fact: Donated organs are carefully removed in a surgical procedure that will not disfigure the body or prevent an open-casket funeral.

Myth: I think organ donation goes against my religious beliefs.

Fact: Organ donation is consistent with the beliefs of most major religions, including Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam and most branches of Judaism. If you are uncertain, talk to your spiritual advisor. also provides a detailed list of religious views on donation.

Myth: I am too young or too old to be an organ donor.

Fact: Organ donation is possible from birth to about age 75. If you are under 18, your parents are legally empowered to authorize organ donation. Share your decision to be a donor with them.