Can organs be given to people of a different racial group or gender?

Yes. However organ size, which is affected by gender, is critical to match a donor heart, lung, or liver with a recipient. Genetic makeup can be a factor when matching a kidney or pancreas donor and recipient because of the importance of tissue matching. Optimal tissue matching can happen within the same racial and genetic background. For example, an individual of Asian descent may match better with a kidney donated from another Asian versus a different race. However, cross-racial donations can and do happen with great success when matches are available.

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