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Fact Over Fiction: Debunking Common Donation Myths - Part Two

We can agree: money is one of the most common stressors of life. But, it does not need to be part of your decision regarding whether to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor. Unlike most other end-of-life decisions, donation does not have a price tag affixed to it. You can rest assured that when you join the NC donor registry, your wishes will be carried out without financial imposition on your family and friends.

Bottom line: being an organ, eye and tissue donor will not cost you, your family, or your estate any money. All costs related to organ, tissue and eye donation are covered by the organ procurement organization. Your family is only responsible for hospital charges before the death declaration and for funeral expenses.

But I've heard that in other countries, people get paid for their organs and tissues!

It is illegal in the United States to sell human organs and tissues (National Organ Transplant Act of 1984).  Violators are subject to fines and imprisonment.

What about compensation for organ donors and their families?

This has become a much-discussed topic in the last few years, especially in regardings to paying living donors with the idea that more people would be willing to donate a kidney, thus saving more lives today and reducing the waiting list. On the other side, concerns about compensating donors touches on some of the very ideas rooted into the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984: fear that individuals in dire financial situations would be taken advantage of, a lack of informed consent, and also the notion that organ and tissue donation should come from a place of altruism. Period.

If you are interested in reading more on the debate to pay living donors, here are some recent articles from major media outlets:

A Kidney for $10,000? Paying Donors Actually Pays Off, New Study Finds (MSNBC News)

Paying Kidney Donors May Be Efficient, But Is It Ethical? (Care2)

Study: 40% Are Okay With Paying Kidney Donors (The Atlantic)

Because of the more than 4,400,000 North Carolinians who have said "Yes!" at the DMV and online at, we can provide hope to the thousands waiting in our own backyard and the tens of thousands waiting across the country. The gift of organ, eye and tissue donation comes straight from the heart. We hope that you consider making this cost-free decision to give life to others.