Anatomical Gifts in Connecticut: “A Little Story About Jack and Vincent….

…two American men doin’ best they can.”

On Saturday, the Hartford Courant ran this article, titled: “The Ultimate Act of Kindness.”

This week, Spanilo, 57, again received an organ transplant. A longtime friend donated one of his kidneys to Spanilo. The operations took place at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

“It’s the ultimate act of kindness,” Vincent Spanilo said. “For me it’s a humbling experience to think someone would do that.”

The two men have known each other since they met in the Air National Guard 18 years ago and have maintained their friendship through a Saturday morning ecumenical Christian men’s group in Enfield.

The friend, Jack, who asked that his last name not be used, said he had known that Spanilo’s kidneys were failing and he needed a transplant. He said he didn’t automatically offer one of his kidneys, but after thinking and praying about it, thought it was the right thing to do.

The article goes on to say that prior to learning of Vincent’s condition, Jack had never considered becoming an organ donor and hadn’t signed up to be one on his driver’s license.

One of the points that I will continue to make in this blog is the need to execute advance directives: a living will and health care instructions, designation of conservator for future incapacity and if you so choose a document of anatomical gift.  All of these designations can be done by executing just one document.

The point of this entry is that one does not need a driver’s license to make an anatomical gift in Connecticut.  In Connecticut, any adult with capacity can execute a document of anatomical gift in which the donor has the right to limit his or her gift to certain organs or for certain purposes.

I encourage you, the next time you are in to see your attorney to do or redo a will to ask about doing advanced directives and a document of anatomical gift.

As a personal note, I wish Jack and Vincent a speedy recovery.