Are My Family or My Estate Ever Charged for Donation?

No, your donation is a gift and your family will not be charged for donation. One of the most common myths we hear about donation is that there is a cost to the organ and tissue donor’s family or their estate.

The fact: There is no cost to the donor or their family for organ, eye and tissue donation.

Many people who have never considered organ donation or have delayed signing up to become an organ, eye and tissue donor do so because of inaccurate information or assumptions about organ donation and transplantation.

Donation is a selfless gift. Recovery organizations assume all costs associated with recovering and processing organs and tissues for transplant once death has been declared and authorization is confirmed either through the donor registry, or from the family in lieu of registration. Once a transplant occurs, these costs are reimbursed by transplant centers, and the transplant center, in turn, will bill the recipient’s insurance plan.

In Wyoming, Donor Alliance, the local recovery organization assumes these costs so they are never passed on to the donor family. Donor Alliance’s culture and values are built on honoring and appreciating the gift of donation, which we have found is a comfort to both donor families and transplant recipients.

Why learning the facts about donation is important.

In the US, there are over 100,000 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, and nearly 2,000 in our local region. Many of those waiting for an organ transplant may never get a second chance at life because of the lack of transplantable organs. Debunking the myths and knowing the facts about organ, eye and tissue donation ensures you know how the donation process works and can make the decision to sign up as an organ, eye and tissue donor based on accurate information.

If my family is not charged for donation, what is the donor’s family responsible for?

It’s important to note that hospital expenses incurred before the donation of organs and/or tissues in an attempt to save the donor’s life and funeral expenses after donation has occurred remain the responsibility of the donor’s family.

Now that you know there is no cost to the donor or their family associated with organ, eye and tissue donation, we encourage you to share this information with your friends and family, and even take an extra step to debunk this myth the next time you hear someone say they are hesitant to sign up as a donor.

You can get the facts on other common organ donation and transplantation myths by visiting the Frequently Asked Questions. To learn the facts about organ donation and transplantation, visit our Facts page.