Frequently Asked Questions
Who can sign up on the South Carolina Donor Registry?
Can my family override my decision to donate?
Why register? Isn’t it enough to have a heart on my driver’s license or carry an organ and tissue donor card?
A donor designation on your S. C. driver’s license and/or a signed and witnessed donor card does grant authorization for organ and/or tissue recovery, but due to the suddenness and emotion surrounding the circumstances, both documents are rarely available at the time a family is approached regarding donation.
With the South Carolina Donor Registry your desire to donate is stored in a secure, confidential database. Should your death result in the opportunity for you to be a donor, an official record of your donor designation will be readily available and cannot be overturned by your family. Thus, should you be medically suitable to donate, your wishes will be respected and your family will be relieved of the burden of making a decision on your behalf.
Does my age, pre-existing medical condition or sexual orientation prevent me from being a donor?
Can I sign up my children?
How do you ensure that someone does not sign up another person without his or her knowledge or consent?
Does the registry allow me to sign up to be a marrow or living organ donor?
Does my registration grant consent for whole body donation?
I have an advance directive authorizing donation of my organs. Should I also register with the South Carolina Donor Registry or will the advance directive be enough?
Each state has its own laws regarding consent for organ donation. Some states have registries while others rely on donor cards or advance directives. If consent is not given through either of these means, all states defer to next-of-kin to make the donation decision on behalf of their loved one.
I have a friend serving as my health care proxy, with a signed power of attorney. Can that person authorize donation for me?
Is it possible to restrict my donation from specific groups?
How do people in other states sign up? Is there a national registry?
What if I don’t have an email account or access to a computer?
I don’t want to sign up online. Is there any other way to register?
If you are unable to sign up online or via the DMV, you may sign a donor card to indicate your wishes. However, you should share your decision with your next of kin or health care proxy in case the donor card is not available at the time you become a candidate to actually donate.
After You Sign Up
How do I print my registration card?
What do I do if I’ve lost my Registration ID number and/or my password?
How do I make changes to my registration?
If something should happen to me while I am traveling, what role does my registration play?
What is organ and tissue donation?
How many people need donated organs and tissue?
What organs and tissues may be donated?
As for tissues:
- Heart valves are used to replace defective valves; this is particularly life-saving for babies and small children because of the small number of pediatric hearts available for transplant
- Corneas can restore sight to the blind
- Skin is used for abdominal wall reconstruction, hernia repair, breast reconstruction post-mastectomy, and various other open wound repairs. Skin can also be recovered for burn victims
- Bone is used in orthopedic surgery to facilitate healing of fractures or prevent amputation, particularly for cancer and trauma patients
- Tendons are used to repair torn ligaments on knees or other joints
- Veins are used in cardiac by-pass surgery, particularly where the patient cannot provide his or her own veins
The Donation Process
Who is responsible for managing the organ donation process?
How do you determine who receives the organs?
How can my organs and tissues be used for research?
What if I don’t want my organs and/or tissues to be used for research?
During the sign up process, check off the “Donation Limitations” box and check the “For Research” box under both Organs and Tissues.
If you have already signed up online or via the DMV, you may go to the registry website, click on Update My Registry Info, enter your login information, then specify donation limitations. While updating your profile you may also change your password and personal information or remove your name from the South Carolina Donor Registry.
Can I specify which organs and tissues I donate?
Can organs be given to people of a different racial group or gender?
If a family member is in need of an organ at the time of my death, can I specify that he or she is to receive it?
If I am registered as a donor, will my medical care be affected?
Under what circumstances can a person be an organ donor?
Under what circumstances can a person be a tissue donor?
If I suffer a grave injury, how does the process work?
Only if the patient is medically suitable to donate and only after the family has been informed of the patient’s imminent death is the opportunity to donate discussed with the family. Only after the family has been presented with documentation of the patient’s donor designation (which legally grants authorization to recover organs and/or tissues – or, in cases where there is no registration or donor card present, the family grants authorization) does the process move forward.
If I am a donor, what kind of tests do they conduct on my body?
I think I may need an organ transplant. How do I get added to the list?
Can organs be sold?
Is my family or estate charged for donation?
Who pays for donated organs?
Family / Social Issues
What if my family members are opposed to donation?
Does my religion allow donation?
Does donation affect funeral arrangements?
Why do you ask for my ethnicity during the signup process?
Do the donor and recipient families meet?
Management of the Registry
Who is responsible for administering the registry?
What is the registry’s relationship to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)?
How can I be sure my information is kept confidential?
As a state-authorized public service, the South Carolina Donor Registry adheres to the strictest and most up-to-date guidelines to keep all personal information confidential. Aside from standard information such as name and address, the only sensitive information we require is place of birth, while mother’s maiden name and driver’s license number are optional. We collect this information because it is absolutely vital that we identify individual registrants with 100% certainty if they should ever be in a position to be an actual organ or tissue donor. We would never want to confuse a patient who is not registered with someone who is.
We assure you that every technical precaution is in place to protect the information from identity thieves. Of the 45+ state donor registries now in operation, there are no reported problems with unauthorized access to personal information.