I decided to write an article about how to donate your organs after you pass away in Costa Rica because I’ve had a lot of expats ask about it. But before you call me with any questions on how to donate your organs, read this article first.
Actually, this is one of the most difficult blogs I’ve ever written. Just finding the correct information about how to donate your organs when you pass away in Costa Rica was nearly impossible.
In my blog series about death in Costa Rica, I have tried to give you as much information as possible about what happens when you pass away in Costa Rica.
Check them out, they might be interesting to you:
- Do you have a will in Costa Rica?
- All about cemeteries and funeral homes,
- Learn all about cremation,
- How to organize the repatriation of the deceased.
I am going to be totally honest with you. If you have decided to donate your organs after you pass away in Costa Rica, there is a big chance it will not happen.
There are two official ways to donate your organs but nobody knows about it or follows up on it. We have called Immigration and the Caja (CCSS) who seem to have a program together. Unbelievably, nobody seems to know about it. The most incredible part is that the CAJA even has a form on their website.
We have called 6 private universities, 5 hospitals, private and public and nobody knows anything. Unfortunately, in Costa Rica, we do not have an organized system that I can find.
In many other countries, they use a card like the one I’m showing at the beginning of this blog, that shows you are a donor. In Costa Rica, it shows you are an organ donor on your driver’s license and your ID card if you have decided to donate your organs.
On your driver’s license
When you go to COSEVI to get your driver’s license or you are going to renew it, on the form they will make you fill out, you will be asked if you want to be a donor of your organs or not. The answer to this will show on your driver’s license, just like mine on the right, next to the red arrow.
On your residency card
When you request your Costa Rican residency or the first time or renew your Costa Rica residency card, on the form they make you fill our, you will be asked if you want to be a donor of your organs or not. The answer to this question will show on your residency card like it does on mine, next to the red arrow.
Donate your organs on Facebook
There is this Facebook page Vida Nueva CR with over 6,600 likes. Asking on this page who can give us more information on how to donate your organs, their admin answered the following: At the CCSS there an office called Donation and Transplantation directed by Dr. Marvin Aguero!
On this Facebook, there are both transplanted patients as well as on the waiting list for a transplant. The organs are donated to the CCSS by relatives of people who are in neurological death. In the hospital where the dead person is, the neurological transplant coordinator has to coordinate with the hospitals where these organs can be used. Those organs are extracted heart, corneas, kidneys, skin, liver, bone and lungs.
Hospitals that are able to transplant are Calderon Guardia Hospital, San Juan de Dios Hospital, National Children’s Hospital and Mexico Hospital. There is no need for you to call anywhere right now. That’s because your family is going to donate your organs if they are suitable for transplantation.
Proposal for a law
Since November 2011, there is a proposal in the commission of social matters of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica. This proposal will regulate the donation and transplants of organs in Costa Rica.
This law is supposed to stop all black market traffic of organs in Costa Rica. Maybe they will find a way to organize all this one day. For some reason, I doubt it.
We have not been able to find the Donation and Transplantation office when calling the Caja. Nor have we been able to confirm the existence of this Dr. Marvin Aguero. As you can see, all the above is contradictory.
First, you tell Costa Rican Immigration and COSEVI that you are available as a donor and the Vida Nueva people say it is up to your family. Go figure.
I guess that when it is my turn to pass away, the authorities will have access to my wallet that holds my driver’s license as well as my Cédula de Residencia. Then, maybe, I don’t have to worry about my organs ending up in the right place.
Do you have any comment that can lead to clearing up this puzzle about how to donate your organs? Then please feel free to post it below.