Having the Talk is an Important Step to Support Donation

At LifeNet Health, our goal is to highlight the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation. We want to encourage as many people as possible to give others a second chance at life by registering as donors.

Because the decision to donate starts at home, we are also encouraging everyone to go one step beyond registering: Talk to your family about your decision to donate, and talk to your friends. Be ready to answer questions and share viewpoints, including why donation is important to you.

Research shows that having the talk is important as a first step to increasing support for donation. If we all start talking, one family at a time, we can save lives. More than 100,000 people are on the national organ transplant waiting list, and they need our help. Millions more can benefit from donated tissue.

Please use this page as a guide to all things related to having the talk. Scroll down for resources you can share with others.

Tips for Having the Talk

We know having the talk might not be easy, but it's important. Here are some tips to get started.

  • Start by bringing up something you saw or read. It could be a social media post by LifeNet Health, or a news article. Talk about what you learned, or what you found inspiring.
  • Talk about the good that comes from donation. For example, one organ donor can save up to nine lives. One tissue donor can restore health for up to 150 patients. A cornea donor can restore sight for two people. And a research donor can support medical breakthroughs that end up helping thousands.
  • Share your point of view, and your decision. You can be specific about your intentions to donate organs, tissue, corneas, or even donating for research purposes.
  • Be sure to listen as well. Your family and friends may have questions or concerns. Hear those, and share information if you can. If there’s something you don’t know, then find a trusted resource to learn more. Many people report greater levels of trust for medical professionals and organizations like LifeNet Health that are involved in transplantation. Just be sure to focus on facts.
  • Finally, be open to evolving the conversation over time. There are lots of end-of-life issues we should be talking about. A conversation about organ and tissue donation is just one of those topics. The most important thing to remember is that talking now can bring peace of mind later – and it can make a lifesaving difference for others.