In the United States people may voluntarily donate their organs and tissues to others. They can indicate this desire in their advance directive or on their driver's license (in some states).
• The most commonly donated are corneas, heart, kidneys, skin, bone marrow, blood, liver, and lungs. The long bones of the body (tibia, fibula, femur, humerus, radius, and ulna) can also be transplanted.
• Some organs and tissues can be donated by a living person, such as, blood, bone marrow, and kidneys.
• A U.S. law prohibits the sale of organs. Payment to cover the medical cost for the donor is allowed.
• UNOS contains a database relating to every organ donation and transplant in the U.S. since 1986.
• UNOS uses a formula that gives half the weight to considerations of medical untility or need and half to considerations of justice.
• An estimated 400,000 people are waiting for transplant in the U.S.
• There are 106,000 people listed on the UNOS waiting list (many are for kidneys)
• Severe shortages of organs leaves patients to take desperate measures to find organs on their own