FAQs

If I am in an accident, and the hospital knows that I want to be a donor, they will withhold treatment and not attempt to save my life?

No. Medical professionals will do everything they can to save your life. The doctors who work to save your life are not the same doctors involved with donation and transplantation. It is only after every attempt has been made to save your life that donation will be considered. In fact, from a medical standpoint, patients must receive the most aggressive life-saving care in order to be potential donors.

Will the recipient be told who donated the corneas?

No. The gift of sight is made anonymously. The identity of all parties is kept confidential. The donor family and the transplant recipient may receive such information as age, sex and state of residence. Individually, the recipient may be told the circumstances of death, and the donor's family may be informed of circumstance the transplants was needed. The donation agencies facilitate correspondence and meetings initiated by either the donor family or recipient and agreed to by both parties.

Do major religions support organ, eye, and tissue donation?

Yes. Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish faiths support donation as an act of human benevolence in keeping with religious doctrine. They believe that this is essentially a gift of life to another person. Meanwhile, the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam believe that organ donation is a matter of individual conscience. If you have questions in this regard, we encourage you to consult with your religious leader. No major religion opposes donation.

Is there any delay in funeral arrangements?

No. Cornea and eye tissue procurement is performed within hours of death. The procurement procedure takes about an hour and does not interfere with funeral arrangements.

Will cornea donation affect the appearance of the donor?

No. The cornea is the front window on top of the eye (like a contact lens).  The rest of the eye stays in place and donor appearance is not effected.

What happens if corneas are not suitable for transplant?

The donor’s medical condition and the eyes are carefully evaluated. Corneas determined to be unsuitable for transplant may be used for medical research and teaching.

What is an eye bank?

An eye bank obtains, medically evaluates and distributes eyes donated by caring individuals for use in corneal transplantation, research, and education. Eye banks are non-profit organizations.

How does the eye bank ensure safe corneal tissue for transplantation?

The donated eyes and the donor's medical history are evaluated by the eye bank in accordance with the Eye Bank Association of America's (EBAA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).