13. Why is it so important to discuss my donation wishes?

Although donor cards are legally binding, as a practical matter your family may still be asked for permission to donate your organs. If you want to donate but don't tell anyone, your decision might not be followed.

If you don't tell your family your wishes, they will be in the position of having to guess what you would have wanted. In a way, you are then forcing them to make the decision themselves, when they are already in distress and would prefer to carry out your wishes. Many families have said that knowing their loved one's wishes made it much easier for them to give permission for donation - they didn't have to guess what the person wanted, they just had to carry out the wishes they were already acquainted with.

Some families have not donated organs because they did not want to make the decision while not knowing their loved one's wishes. When they find out later that the deceased person did indeed want to donate – but had never told them – they regret having not known and having not donated.

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