A potential non-directed donor (someone considering donating an organ anonymously to whomever needs it) wrote to the Greatest Gift Foundation with a question that stumped me. And yet it’s a logical question — I’m surprised I haven’t heard it before. He was thinking that before or during his approach to become a living donor, he might want to consult an attorney, if nothing else to make sure he has things like his will and life insurance in order. He wondered if I knew anyone who specializes in this sort of thing. A great question from someone who is clearly thinking logically and planning ahead.
I am not aware of anyone who specializes in legal work specifically for living donors (non-directed or otherwise). If there are, my gut says it might be more to deal with complications (i.e. breaches of anonymity, lawsuits related to the procedure, etc.), and not for general housekeeping like wills and insurance. Anyone out there among my readers who knows or thinks differently? Email me or comment if you have ideas I can share here.
In the absence of that (or any knowledge on my part about legal stuff) I would suggest asking around, perhaps calling your local Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) or the transplant center donor care coordinator, or maybe your local chapter of the National Kidney Foundation. Explain that you’re considering becoming a non-directed living donor, and they’ll likely be glad to take your call and point you in the right direction.
This potential donor raises a good point worth mentioning to those of you who are thinking about donating. Life insurance, health insurance, wills, living wills, and simple housekeeping like talking to your family about your wishes if you found yourself in a crisis are all important things to consider in advance of any planned health event of this magnitude. The words “Last Will and Testament” sound dreary and dramatic, but it’s really not a big deal if you’ve never done it before. And it’s nice to know it’s there, should it be needed for this or any reason.
Eager for any additional thoughts from readers in the know…