What is a document of anatomical gift?

A document of anatomical gift is an estate planning tool that allows you to specify your organ donation intentions.  You have several options when it comes to organ donation.

The first option is to not be an organ donor at all.  The second option is to be an organ donor with respect to any useable or needed organs.  This means that at the time of your passing, any of your organs may be donated if they are healthy enough to be donated and are needed.

The final option is to be an organ donor with limitations that you set.  These limitations can specify the organs that you wish to donate or certain purposes for which you wish to donate.  For example, you may wish to donate just your heart or you may wish to donate any healthy organs for research purposes.  You also have the option to combine both types of limitations by donating, for instance, only your brain for Alzheimer's Disease research or your pancreas for diabetes research.  As with all estate planning decisions, the choice is yours.  

You may have already made an organ donation decision on your driver's license.  It's important to note that the organ donation icon on a driver's license will generally be treated as an all-or-nothing decision - either you're an organ donor or not.  There are no limitations.   

Connecticut law allows you to prepare a single document that combines multiple estate planning tools concerning health care.  For more information about this document, click here.