Dear Brother Masons:
- Who can be a donor?
Almost anyone can be eligible to donate organs and possibly tissues. An age limit is not specified for organ donation, though the age limit for tissues is 60; however, suitability for donation is determined at the time of death.
The final decision for using organs or tissues rests with the transplant candidate's physicians.
- What organs and tissues can be donated?
Heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver, intestines, and at times, stomach, are the organs that can be donated. Tissues that can be donated include corneas to restore sight, skin to heal burns, and bone and ligaments to repair bone and joints damaged by cancer or trauma. Heart valves and tendons also may be donated.
- Will donation cost my family money?
No. Families who donate are not charged for the donation, nor is the donor's estate.
- Does donation disrupt or delay funeral arrangements?
No. Donation typically does not delay funeral arrangements nor does it prevent an open casket viewing. Organs and tissues are recovered in an operating room, in a surgical procedure that does not disfigure the body.
- Is donation against my religion?
Leaders of major religions support donation or have made it clear that the decision to donate is a personal one that should be discussed with family members.
- How are organs distributed?
Once a family has consented to donation, the donor's height, weight and blood type are entered into a computer tied into the national database operated by the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN). After the information is entered, the OPTN
computer generates a list of individuals awaiting transplants who best match the donor's blood and body size. Medical urgency and the amount of time on a waiting list also play and integral role in determining who receives an organ.
A patient's race, gender, age, celebrity status, or income are not considered when deciding who receives an organ. Also, most costs associated with transplantation are covered by private insurance or Medicare.
- If I have the donor designation on my driver's license, do I still have to sign a card?
Under Pennsylvania law, drivers now are given the opportunity to place the donor designation directly on the license; however, it also is wise to sign the two-part donor card
provided in this brochure.
- How do I pledge the gift of life?
- Sign and carry the middle portion of the donor card on this website, and return the bottom portion to the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia.
- Share with your family the information contained in this brochure and your decision to be a donor.
Freemasonry is the world's oldest and largest Fraternity. Its history and traditions have bee shown through its charitable endeavors so that the bonds of friendship, compassion and brotherly love for others have transcended
political, military and religious conflicts. As we look to the future, we, as Masons, realize that through education and science, we can again show our love for another by giving the greatest gift of all-the gift of life.
More than 70,000 men, women and children in the U.S. are awaiting lifesaving organ transplants. Unfortunately, not enough people have signed organ donor cards or have discussed their wishes with family members and friends
to make a difference by donating their organs. We encourage you to consider this worthwhile lifesaving gift by signing a donor card and then discussing this important issue with your family. If you or any of your family members desire to sign an organ
donor card, please notify the Grand Lodge. We will maintain a list of members who have taken this important step.
If you desire additional information, please contact our Grand Lodge Blood and Organ Donor Club. You also may call either the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) at 1-800-DONORS-7 or the Delaware Valley Transplant
Program at 1-800-KIDNEY-1. CORE facilitates services for western and central Pennsylvania. Delaware Valley Transplant Program coordinates programs for central and eastern Pennsylvania.
a second chance:
Sign a donor card.