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Guarantee your intent to become an organ donor

Most people with the foresight to check the “Y” box on their driver’s license probably believe that this action equates to a guarantee that your organs will be made available for life-saving donations after you die. Not necessarily so.
Because of objections raised by survivors, an individual’s prior intent to donate their organs must also be expressed in more ways that through driver’s license registration. These methods could include stating your wishes in a legal document, such as an advance directive; or now through a registry now available to South Carolinians.
On Jan. 14, the S.C. Organ and Tissue Donor Registry was established. Information from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will not automatically be transferred to this registry. Therefore, everyone who desires to be an organ donor must register a legal consent to be a donor at the DMV or through the new confidential and secure donor registry online at
The Web address relates to a fact that every 11 minutes, another person in this country is added to the transplant waiting list; but many will die while waiting to receive an organ transplant. Register online at or by obtaining, renewing or changing your S.C. driver’s license/identification at any DMV office.
By putting your name on the South Carolina Donor Registry, you agree to donate your organs and tissues, to be recovered after your death, for use in transplantation, research and/or education. After your death, an examination and tests will be performed to determine the best medical uses for your gift. The law protects your choice. Unless you change your mind and remove your name from the registry, which you may also do online, your wish to donate will be honored and no one else, including your family, will be able to change your decision.

How does donation help save, enhance lives?
  • Organs used for life-saving transplants include heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys, lungs, and small bowel.
  • Tissues used to save or improve life include eyes/corneas, heart valves, bones, and skin grafts.
  • Research uses of organs and tissues can include studies on curing diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other life-altering or fatal diseases.
  • Organs and tissues that cannot be used for transplantation, research or therapy can be used for educational purposes to advance scientific and medical knowledge.
All information submitted will be used only for official Registry business and will be kept completely confidential. We will not share, sell or otherwise compromise this information.
 If you go through the DMV a new logo representing legal consent will be placed on your license or identification card. It will be a heart and “Y” surrounded by a circle symbols representing 11 ticks of a clock.

Friday, Feb. 20, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.