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Organ Donation

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Published 05/08/2021
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How does organ donation work?

According to the NHS organ donation website you could save up to 9 lives by donating your organs after death. On 20th May 2020, the law regarding organ donation in England was changed to an opt out system, allowing more people to save more lives. Now it will be automatically assumed that you agree to become an organ donor when you die if you are over 18, you are not in an excluded group and you have not opted out.

Do you have to donate all of your organs and tissue?

Even if you agree to be a donor, this doesn’t mean that you have to donate all of your organs and tissue. For instance, some people dislike the idea of donating their corneas, which unfortunately means there is a lack of corneas available for donation in the UK. Read more in this article from
'Becoming a registered organ donor is a no-brainer - but they can’t have my eyes'

On the organ donation website, as well as the choice to opt out, there is also the option to specify which organs and tissue you are happy to donate, and which you would rather not. It is advised that you should also discuss this with your family, so they know your preferences if the worst should happen. This is important, as your family can override your decision if they are unsure it is what you want.

Why should I be an organ donor?

By being an organ donor, you could greatly enhance or even save the lives of up to 9 people. Organ donors are treated with the same respect, dignity and care as any other patient, and only organs and tissue specified by the donor and agreed with the family will be removed. There are around 6000 ill people waiting for a transplant at any one time, with around 3 of these dying each day, unable to get a transplant in time. By choosing to remain a donor, you could save a life.

Your decision regarding organ donation is not final, so if you change your mind at a later date you can amend your decision either on the website or by calling 0300 123 23 23.
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