Brain Donations for Military Veterans

Brain donation is turning into a big topic for military veterans with various battlefield injuries like PTSD and CTE. Some military veterans are doing it as a way to continue their service of others, while other vets want clarity for their family members.

Regardless, there is a right way and a wrong way to donate one’s brain or any body part for that matter. Unfortunately, military veterans are acquiring bad information.

If military veterans take the advice in published articles outlined in the American Legion, military veterans in Minnesota might not get what they expected. And, online web designations are making matters worse.

Luckily, there is an answer.

Pledging A Brain Donation

As it stands right now, making a pledge to donate a brain through an online website like CLF or VA-BU-CLF isn’t good enough. There are four significant reasons why:

  • Doing so may contradict other official statements made on a Minnesota driver’s license;
  • Pledging a brain donation may contradict previously created estate planning documents;
  • The donation center selected today might not be around in 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years;
  • And, if your Family doesn’t know, nobody knows.

Veterans Wishing to Donate Organs

Brain Donations

The process for military veterans wishing to donate their organs is a similar process as those who do not. Use a formal document that complies with Minnesota Chapter 525A and clearly express one’s wishes.

Expressed wishes sometimes show up inside a health care directive.

Other times, the details of an organ donation are outlined in a specific organ designation form.

Ideal Practices for Organ Donation

Ideal practices may include:

  • Making a decision,
  • Having a discussion with key family members (spouse, adult children, etc.),
  • Having a formal document clearly state what is intended by the organ donor,
  • Following the rules under Minnesota Chapter 525A, and
  • Having a written statement that allows the Health Care Agent or Organ Care Agent an opportunity to make choices or changes on behalf of the military veteran if required.

Use a formal document that complies with Minnesota Chapter 525A and clearly express one’s wishes

Future Organ Donations

For military veterans wishing to make a brain donation, I like to see contingency plans that favors other family members. Unfortunately, many military families cannot predict the future needs of a relative or grandchild.

Donating a brain today sounds great. But, what if a future grandchild needs a kidney, liver, or cornea? Certainly, every organ donation should allow for other needs, just in case.

For these reasons and the rules governed under Minnesota Chapter 525A, a brain donation is not as simple as making an online web designation. Instead, include this type of designation to a personalized estate plan.