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November 21, 2005

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Question from Belgium, Wisconsin, USA:

I am an organ donor on my driver's license. I actually have two children with type 1. Is there a way that I can specify that I want my organs to benefit my children first? Is it possible? In my mind, it makes sense that my children would be the best match. Is there a way that they could use my pancreas or freeze cells that could be used in my children?

Answer:

Generally, individuals who participate in organ donor programs do not have the ability to designate or direct the distribution to specific recipients of the organs. Once a medical facility confirms the availability of the organs, the state or regional organ/tissue bank is notified. The organ bank then distributes the harvested organs according to established protocols for individuals meeting specific criteria. These individuals have been placed on waiting lists and are grouped by blood type and other specific criteria. If you are interested in providing organs or other tissue for a family member, I suggest that you discuss the issue with a physician or attorney who can advise you under what circumstances such requests might be honored.

DSH