Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can sign up on the Donate Life DC Registry?
Can my family override my decision to donate?
Why register? Isn’t it enough to have a heart on my driver license or carry an organ and tissue donor card?
If you have a donor designation on your D.C. driver’s license, that information will be securely stored in the Donate Life DC registry. It is recommended that all residents check the registry to make sure that the information is correct and up-to-date.
A donor designation on your D.C. driver’s license and/or a signed and witnessed donor card does grant authorization for organ and/or tissue recovery, but due to the suddenness and emotion surrounding the circumstances, both documents are rarely available at the time a family is approached regarding donation.
With the Donate Life DC registry, your desire to donate is stored in a secure, confidential database. Should your death result in the opportunity for you to be a donor, an official record of your donor designation will be readily available and cannot be overturned by your family. Thus, should you be medically suitable to donate, your wishes will be respected and your family will be relieved of the burden of making a decision on your behalf.
Does my age, pre-existing medical condition, or sexual orientation prevent me from being a donor?
Can I sign up my children?
How do you ensure that someone does not sign up another person without his or her knowledge or consent?
Does the registry allow me to sign up to be a marrow or living organ donor?
Does my registration grant consent for whole body donation?
I have an advance directive authorizing donation of my organs. Should I also register with the Donate Life DC registry, or will the advance directive be enough?
Due to the rapid and emotional nature of events surrounding sudden death, often times families do not have time to check legal documents prior to being approached about donation. However, since the Donate Life DC registry is viewed in all potential donation cases prior to approaching the family, recovery personnel are able to share proof of registration with family members at the time donation is discussed with them.
Each state has its own laws regarding consent for organ donation. Some states have registries while others rely on donor cards or advance directives. If consent is not given through either of these means, all states defer to next-of-kin to make the donation decision on behalf of their loved one.
I have a friend serving as my health care proxy, with a signed power of attorney. Can that person authorize donation for me?
Is it possible to restrict my donation from specific groups?
How do people in other states sign up? Is there a national registry?
What if I don’t have an email account or access to a computer?
I don’t want to sign up online. Is there any other way to register?
In addition to online registrations, you may sign up with the Donate Life DC registry when you apply for or renew your driver license or ID card through the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
If you are unable to sign up online or via the DMV, you may sign a donor card to indicate your wishes. However, you should share your decision with your next of kin or health care proxy in case the donor card is not available at the time you become a candidate to actually donate.
After You Sign Up
¿Quién puede ser donante?
¿Cómo unirme al registro?
- Al obtener o renovar su licencia de conducir en la oficina de CESCO puede marcar para registrarse como donante.
- Regístrese en línea aquí.
- Si tienes un iPhone con iOS 10, puedes registrarte desde tu teléfono usando la aplicación de salud.
¿Cómo puedo retirar mi nombre del registro?
¿Cómo funciona el proceso de donación en el registro?
¿Quiero ser un donante vivo, ¿cómo?
Who can be a donor?
How do I join the registry?
How do I remove myself from the registry?
How does the donation process work with the registry?
I want to be a living donor, how?
The Donation Process
Who is responsible for managing the organ donation process?
How do you determine who receives the organs?
How can my organs and tissues be used for research?
What if I don’t want my organs and/or tissues to be used for research?
Donated organs and tissues may be used for two purposes: transplantation and medical research. The Donate Life DC registry allows you to opt out of donating organs and/or tissues for research.
During the sign up process, check off the “Donation Limitations” box and check the “For Research” box under both Organs and Tissues.
If you have already signed up online or via the DMV, you may go to the registry website, click on Update My Donor Profile, enter your login information, then specify donation limitations. While updating your profile you may also change your password and personal information or remove your name from the Donate Life DC registry.
Can I specify which organs and tissues I donate?
Can organs be given to people of a different racial group or gender?
If a family member is in need of an organ at the time of my death, can I specify that he or she is to receive it?
If I am registered as a donor, will my medical care be affected?
Under what circumstances can a person be an organ donor?
Under what circumstances can a person be a tissue donor?
If I suffer a grave injury, how does the process work?
If a patient arrives at the hospital with a grave brain injury, the hospital contacts the local organ procurement organization (OPO). While the hospital continues aggressive life-saving efforts, WRTC determines whether the patient is a registered organ and/or tissue donor. This information helps to guide the health care team regarding how the family should be approached should death be determined to be imminent for that patient.
Only if the patient is medically suitable to donate and only after the family has been informed of the patient’s imminent death is the opportunity to donate discussed with the family. Only after the family has been presented with documentation of the patient’s donor designation (which legally grants authorization to recover organs and/or tissues – or, in cases where there is no registration or donor card present, the family grants authorization) does the process move forward.
If I am a donor, what kind of tests do they conduct on my body?
I think I may need an organ transplant. How do I get added to the list?
Can organs be sold?
Is my family or estate charged for donation?
Who pays for donated organs?
Family / Social Issues
What if my family members are opposed to donation?
Does my religion allow donation?
Does donation affect funeral arrangements?
Why do you ask for my ethnicity during the signup process?
Do the donor and recipient families meet?
Management of the Registry
Who is responsible for administering the registry?
What is the registry’s relationship to the District of Columbia’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)?
How can I be sure my information is kept confidential?
As a state-authorized public service, Donate Life DC adheres to the strictest and most up-to-date guidelines to keep all personal information confidential. Aside from standard information such as name and address, the only sensitive information we require is place of birth, while mother’s maiden name and driver’s license number are optional. Why collect this information? Because it is absolutely vital that we identify individual registrants with 100% certainty if they should ever be in a position to be an actual organ or tissue donor. We would never want to confuse a patient who is not registered with someone who is.
We assure you that every technical precaution is in place to protect the information from identity thieves. Of the 45+ state donor registries now in operation, there are no reported problems with unauthorized access to personal information.