Ask Libby: Are there financial costs associated with being an organ donor?

Libby Wolfe is the Project Manager at The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland. Her main role is to act as a liaison and maintain a relationship with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. She often hears the same questions being asked while traveling between Maryland MVA branches and we thought it would be great to let her sound off on some of these questions. Libby will address a common question related to the Maryland donor registry in Ask Libby, a special feature on our blog, each month. Enjoy, and feel free to e-mail her your questions at

Dear Paul –

Thank you for the question! My short response is absolutely not! There are no costs to the donor’s family for organ, eye and tissue donation.

Once death has been declared and authorization is confirmed through the donor registry, or from the family in lieu of the registry, all costs associated with organ and/or tissue recovery are assumed by the organ, eye and tissue recovery organization facilitating the donation. However, hospital expenses incurred before the donation of organs or tissues in an attempt to save the donor’s life, as well as funeral expenses, remain the responsibility of the donor’s family.

Sharing one’s life with others through organ, eye and tissue donation is an incredibly generous gift. Donor families are already experiencing the tremendous loss of a loved one and the donation process should not to add additional burdens or costs to any family. Donor families can also choose to receive bereavement resources from the organ procurement organization facilitating their loved one’s donation, including grief counseling support and workshops, at no cost to the family. 


About libbydwolfe

Libby Wolfe is the Executive Director for Donate Life Maryland. She has over a decade of experience in the communications field working primarily in advertising and marketing. She is motivated everyday to encourage more Marylanders to say YES to organ donation and meet the need of those awaiting a transplant.
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