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Saturday, March 5, 2011

FAQ's about Organ and Tissue Donation

I always thought it a bit strange that just by signing the back of your driver's license allowed someone to extract your organs after you die.

That may seem a bit out of left field, and pretty morbid for a Saturday afternoon, but I do have a point.

Campbell County Circuit Clerk, Taunya Nolan Jack, helps lead the Trust For Life organization as part of her public duties, to promote and raise public awareness about organ and tissue donation. This year, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, hit the 1 million persons mark on the organ donation registry. This announcement will be made again in April at the Capital Building. Nolan Jack gathered the local courts to commend this occasion.

"Organ and tissue donation is a way to give the gift of life to someone who may not have had that chance without it. One person's act can affect the lives of so many others," said Nolan Jack. "Chris Henry’s mother was on the news not that long ago and told her story of how his gift saved so many other lives."

Here are frequently asked questions about the Trust for Life Organization:

What is the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks' Trust for Life?
The Trust for Life is a non-profit organization that was created by the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks in 1992. Donations can be made at

If I sign the back of my license, am I on the registry?
Not necessarily. You can add your name to the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry at your Circuit Court Clerks' office or online at In addition to getting on the registry this way, you can sign the back of your license with two witnesses.

Will the Dr. work to save my life if my name is on the KY Organ Donation Registry?
Yes, the main priority of any medical team is to save your life. Organ and tissue recovery takes place only after all efforts to save your life have been done and death has been legally declared. The doctors working to save your life are entirely separate from the medical team involved in transplantation.

Am I too old to be a donor? Would anybody want my organs?
The oldest organ donor in Kentucky was 84 and she saved 3 lives. Don't disqualify yourself. Everyone can add their name to the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. Since there is such a donor shortage, each potential donor is medically evaluated at the time of death to see if their organs or tissues are suitable for transplantation.

Does my religion support donation?
Yes, all major religions in America support donations and consider it the most generous act of charity and compassion.

If I join the registry, will my family be asked to consent to donation after death?
No. Joining the registry is treated as a will, meaning your willingness to help others will be honored. Should you be medically suitable, your wishes will be fulfilled and your family will not have the burden of making that decision for you. You are encouraged to discuss your wishes with your family. The only exception is that parental consent would be requested for a donor under 18.

How does someone remove their name from the registry?
By going online to or contacting the Trust for Life office at 1-866-945-5433.

Who can access the information on the registry?
All information submitted to the registry will be kept confidential and secure at all times. Only organ procurement personnel will have access to the donor registry at the time of death.

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