Donating organs can very often save lives and improve the quality of life of countless others. It is ultimately your choice whether you would like to offer up any of your organs after your death, but you need to make sure that you have all your legal ducks in a row. Normally, you wouldn’t be able to sell or give away organs like they were normal property — a kidney is not the same as your classic car.
Fortunately, the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act allows an individual to make a legal gift of his or her organs. The individual making the gift can choose to make a gift of all or any part of his or her body, so you can choose what parts you’re comfortable donating. Under the law, you may also choose for what purpose your organs can be donated. If you don’t mind where they go, you can designate that they be used for any purpose – which may include transplant. If you’d rather that your parts only be set aside for medical research – “donate your body to science” – you may do that as well.
By using this Organ Donor Declaration to state your wishes for your organs, you can make sure that your body’s pieces are used (or not used) in a way that comforts you. This form must be signed and dated by two witnesses to be legally binding, and one of them must be a disinterested witness – someone other than a spouse, relative, or guardian.