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Maine Transplant Program

Organ and Tissue Donor Program

The Maine Transplant Program is committed to increasing the number of organs and tissues for transplantation. Every day, 16 people die while waiting for organ transplants. The lives of many others could be made better through the use of corneas, bone, and other tissues.

As part of the New England Organ Bank and the United Network for Organ Sharing, the Maine Transplant Program is responsible for coordinating the procurement of organs and tissues in Maine for transplantation throughout the United States.

Our staff conducts educational programs for hospital employees and the public in support of organ and tissue donation, and presents training seminars to hospital personnel on recognizing potential donors and obtaining consent for donation. For more information on obtaining a speaker for your group, please contact the Maine Transplant Program.

If you interested in obtaining a donor card, click here .

Frequently asked questions about organ and tissue donation:

Is there any disfigurement associated with organ and tissue donation?
No, the recovery operation is a careful surgical procedure in which the body is not disfigured in any way. The body remains intact for funeral and burial arrangements - including an open casket.

Will it cost my family anything to donate?
No. All charges associated with organ and tissue donation will be covered by the organ procurement organization. Funeral and burial expenses will remain the responsibility of the family.

Will the quality of my medical care be compromised if I sign a donor card?
No. The first priority of any healthcare provider is to preserve the life and health of every patient. Only after a patient is dead can organ or tissue donation take place. In addition, the declaration of death can only be made by a physician not associated in any way with the transplant program.

If you would like a donor card, click here .

Do the major religious organizations in the United States support organ and tissue donation?
Yes. Religious groups including Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish faiths support organ and tissue donation as a charitable gift of life consistent with the basic tenets of these faiths.

Is a patient who is rich or influential more likely to get a transplant?
No. As organs become available for transplant, clinical considerations such as blood type, body size, medical urgency, time waiting, and in some cases, geographical proximity are the criteria for distribution. These criteria are in accordance with the United Network for Organ Sharing national rules for organ allocation. Click here to visit the UNOS web page.

Is it legal to buy and sell organs?
No. The National Organ and Transplant Act of 1984 made it illegal to by or offer for sale an organ for transplant, and subsequent federal legislation ensures that only recognized organ procurement organizations are authorized to recover and distribute human organs for transplantation.

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Health Information

Maine Medical Center | 22 Bramhall Street | Portland, Maine 04102-3175 | (207) 662-0111