Medical Examiners Coroners

Medical Examiner, Coroners, State’s Attorneys and Law Enforcement

Together, we honor the wishes of the deceased and their families.

Donation benefits the community you serve.

Organ, eye and tissue donation gives transplant recipients the gift of life or improved health. It brings hope and healing to families after a loved one’s death. To preserve the opportunity for donation and honor the wishes of registered donors, collaboration is essential.

State’s attorneys, medical examiners, coroners and law enforcement officials all play vital roles in organ and tissue donation after an unexpected, sudden or on-scene death.

Gift of Hope is the organization federally designated to coordinate organ and tissue recovery and allocation in northern Illinois and northwest Indiana. We value our relationship with you, our partners.

The organ & tissue donation process

A single tissue donor may be able to help 25 or more others. Donated tissue is used for heart valve replacement, spinal fusion surgery to alleviate pain, ligament repair for mobility, healing after severe burns and cornea transplant to restore sight.

An organ donor can save up to 8 lives. Today, over 100,000 people nationwide are awaiting a lifesaving transplant. Donated organs save the lives of those on dialysis, living with liver disease or lung disease, awaiting heart transplants and more.

More detailed information can be found on the Organ and Tissue Donation Fact Sheet.

Learn more about the donation process here.

Your role is vital for donation

From on-scene referral of a potential donor to the timely release of organs and tissues, the forensic team and ME/coroner have an important role to play in donation.

You should know that organs which are not damaged can be donated without undermining the collection of evidence. Through close coordination, we can ensure the release of organs and tissues that could save lives and honor the wishes of the deceased and their family.

After a sudden death, Gift of Hope will work with the forensic team and ME/coroner to support their investigation. The roles of those involved in preserving evidence and the opportunity for donation are described here: Deaths Under Investigation protocol.

If a legal next of kin or close friend cannot be found or the patient is unidentified, a coroner may have the authority to authorize donation. Read about the roles of parties in that process here: ME/Coroner Activation process.

Join the HRSA DoNation Campaign

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) encourages all coroners and workplaces to join us in educating and promoting life-giving organ and tissue donation.

Each year, HRSA recognizes workplaces across the country for their participation in the campaign. Many coroners and workplaces partner with Gift of Hope annually to earn this federal recognition.

Click here for information and a toolkit to get started today.

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