If you are in the process of creating a living will as part of your
estate plan, you probably have given ample thought about what end-of-life medical
care you wish to receive. However, you might not have realized that you
also need to think about what
after-life medical care you want performed. Specifically, do you want your organs
to be donated to others in need?
There is a common misconception among most elders today that they should
not allow their organs to be donated simply because they could no longer
be useful to anyone. According to research conducted by the United States
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), this is just not the case.
The only organs that are “unusable” after someone passes away,
no matter their age, are typically the ones that were directly related
to the person’s death, such as in a heart attack or lung’s
damaged by cancer. So long as you pass away of natural causes, the majority
of your vital organs are probably perfect for donation and saving someone
Other information collected by the DHHS includes:
- More than 60% of people who need an organ transplant are 50+ years old
- 2,300+ deceased donors were 50 to 64 years older (2014)
- 600+ were 65 years or older (2014)
Elders can and do donate their organs after they pass away to the benefit
of others. But that does not mean you have to. The decision is yours and
yours alone, as it is your body that we are discussing. But knowing that
it is an option is the groundwork of making your choice.
For more information about living wills and organ donation clauses, you can
contact Capital Law Group, PLLC. Our Boca Raton elder law and estate planning
lawyer would be happy to answer your questions during an
initial consultation and guide you to your solution from there.