There are many unfortunate myths surrounding organ donation, which can deter some people from becoming donors. One prevailing myth is that donors cannot have an open casket at their funeral service after the donation process has been completed. This guide aims to separate fact from fiction so you can make the right choices when preplanning your funeral.

The Importance of Organ Donation

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are more than 100,000 people currently waiting for an organ donation in the U.S. Because there are not enough transplants for patients in need of organs, roughly 17 people lose their lives every day as a result. However, a single organ donor may be able to save up to eight lives and affect or save as many as 75 people through valuable tissue donation.

funeral services

While they're alive, donors receive the same level of medical care as everyone else. Virtually all major religions allow organ donation. People of all ages can choose to donate, and your current state of health is not usually relevant to the viability of your organs. You can register to donate when renewing your driver's license or sign up with the applicable state donation registry. 

Open Caskets & Organ Donation

After making the important choice to donate organs, rest assured that you can still plan a funeral service according to your wishes. Organ donation does not affect your ability to have an open casket so loved ones can pay their respects. 

Those who opt to donate their organs are treated with the utmost respect and care by the team responsible for performing the procedure. These surgeons understand that many people prefer an open casket, so they will prepare the body in such a way that this remains possible. Your loved ones will not even be aware of your choice during the viewing unless you choose to inform them of this intention while you're still alive. 


For more than a century, Shirley Brothers Mortuaries & Crematory has supported Indianapolis, IN, families making important decisions about funeral planning. They're available 24/7 and provide assistance with funeral preplanning, which allows you to arrange the type of funeral service while also taking some of the burden off of loved ones. They also support grieving family members through their 365 Days of Grief Support program. Visit them online for more information on preplanning your service, or call (317) 897-9606 to speak with a funeral director.