Organ and Body Donation

While the eligibility between whole-body versus organ donation varies, both are common end-of-life requests. Below are two different examples of services that facilitate organ and whole-body donation, respectively.  

Organ Donation – Southwest Transplant Alliance 

The following information was copied from the Southwest Transplant Alliance website from their “How Donation Works” and “Donation FAQ” Webpages. 

Services Provided: While the number of registered donors is steadily growing, we need more people to register — because the need still far outweighs the number of transplants available each year. When a potential donor is identified by a hospital a Transplant Coordinator, in conjunction with a Family Service Coordinator, immediately begins facilitating the donation process by searching the statewide registry to determine if the potential donor is registered. If the potential donor is registered, the family is notified, and the donation process begins. If the potential donor is not registered, the Family Service Coordinator supports the donor family and consults them regarding possible donation. 

STA then manages, alongside the recovery surgeons, the recovery and transportation of organs to the surgeons who will perform the transplants into waiting recipients. The donor’s family pays for medical care prior to organ and tissue recovery and for funeral expenses. They do not pay any of the costs associated with donation. 

Eligibility:  A person must pass away in a hospital on a ventilator in order for their organs to be medically suitable for donation. Brain death because of a stroke or because of a traumatic injury are often the cause of death that makes someone eligible for organ donation, though this is not always the case. In some instances, organs can be donated after cardiovascular death. Healthcare professionals will notify all parties if the body is eligible for organ donation  

Location: Southwest Transplant Alliance’s federally designated service area. 

Contact: Call Toll free at 800-788-8058, or if in Dallas call 214-522-0255. You can also fill out a form here. 

Further information: You may view their “Donation FAQ” and “Donation Process” Graphic.  

Whole Body Donation – MedCure 

Medcure is a whole-body donation service with accreditation through the American Association of Tissue Banks.  

The following information was copied from their “Body Donation FAQs” and “Understanding Your Options” Webpages.  

Services Provided: Many people wish to contribute something positive to the world they will leave behind. Registering to become an organ donor is one way to do this; but when transplant donation isn’t an option, a whole-body donation can provide an alternative way to give back. While organ transplants offer the satisfaction of a life immediately saved, whole-body donations have the potential to improve the lives of countless individuals through the medical research, education, and training opportunities they provide. And, with a whole-body donation, many programs pay all donation-related expenses. Whole-body donation doesn’t allow for traditional funeral viewing services, but families can arrange to hold a memorial service once the ashes are returned. 

Eligibility and Location: Most people who want to donate are eligible. MedCure has no upper age limits and accepts donors with many different medical conditions. The most common reasons for a declined donation include:  

  • a diagnosis of certain communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, or hepatitis B or C
    • history of intravenous (IV) drug use
    • recent prolonged incarceration, institutionalization, or homelessness
    • being severely over or underweight at the time of passing.  

MedCure accepts donors across the continental United States, excluding only New Jersey, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Arkansas. 

Contact: call toll-free at 1-866-560-2525 or  

Further information: You may view their Donor Brochure and FAQ page. 


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