VA Biorepository Brain Bank Research in ALS: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I am in favor of contributing to medical research, but I'm not sure of my religion's position on organ donations. What should I do?
If this is of concern to you, you should consult with your religious leader. Many religions, but not all, have eliminated opposition to organ donations.
Will my family bear any financial burden if I decide to become an after-death organ donor?
No, we are responsible for all costs related to your organ donation as well as transportation of your body to and from the site where the donation is
recovered. However, we cannot assume the usual costs of the funeral, burial or cremation.
How soon after death must the organs be recovered, and where will this be done?
The organs you would donate cannot be used for transplantation; therefore the time for their recovery can be slightly longer. We hope to recover the
donated organs within 24 hours, although under certain circumstances, the time frame can be extended somewhat.
The recovery of the donated organs will take place at the closest VA hospital that is equipped and experienced in performing the procedure or by medical
professionals at another facility if the VA facility is unable to perform this in a timely manner.
My family feels strongly about a wake with an open casket viewing. With an organ donation, will this still be possible?
Yes, the donated organs will be recovered in a manner that will not interfere with an open casket viewing.
What happens to donated tissue?
Donated tissue is sent to a VA approved storage facility for scientific study and storage.
Researchers from around the country may request tissue samples to conduct approved ALS research. Requests from researchers are reviewed by a committee of
established scientists and approved if the request is scientifically sound.
Who should I talk to about donating?
Talking with your family and your VA doctor about these issues now helps to reduce stress on your family at the time of your death. It is important that
your family and doctor know your wishes in the event you become unable to make your own health care decisions. Please know that you or your family may
change the decision about donating at any time. You can also call us at 1-866-460-1158 during office hours and we will be happy to talk with you or you may leave us a message and we'll return your call.