The best way to make sure your wishes are carried out is to always carry an organ donor card and have a living will. In most states, you can indicate on your driver's license that you are an organ donor.For more information or to obtain a donor card, call (toll free) 1-877-FLSHARE.
For information on how to become a bone marrow donor, call the National Marrow Donor Program (toll free) at 1-800-MARROW2.
A recent article from Reuters News Service discussed the repercussions of kidney donation by living donors:
Donating a kidney to a relative or even a stranger whose own kidneys have failed poses very little risk to the donor and may significantly increase the chances that more people on waiting lists will get the organs they need to survive, say Boston researchers. So-called "living donors" have few surgical complication, little pain, and relatively short hospital stays. ...
The incidence of life-threatening end-stage kidney disease is increasing at a rate of more than 8% per year. According to data from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the number of patients on waiting lists for kidney transplants more than doubled between 1988 and 1996, but the number of kidney donors increased by only 13%. However, the number of living kidney donors during those years increased by 73%. Organs from living donors now account for almost one-third of all kidney transplantations performed in the United States. (Reuters, on-line source).