The Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, Sarah Marsh, is using Organ Donation Week (7-13 September 2020) to urge people to consider their organ donation wishes and to share them with loved ones.
The organ donation law changed in May this year, meaning that all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate – what’s known as ‘opt out’ – or are in one of the excluded groups.
What many don’t realise is that loved ones will still be involved in the donation decision, and if they don’t know what their relative wanted, the donation may not go ahead.
Sarah said: “The change in law will allow more people to save more lives, but it is so important you still consider what you would want to happen if something happened to you, and to share your donation wishes with your family.
“Families will still be approached about the donation decision before a transplant goes ahead, and we know that families find this situation so much easier when they know what their relative wanted.
“There are still thousands of people waiting for transplants in the UK today, and only 1 in 3 people have talked to their families about their donation decision. This organ donation week, find the time to consider what you would want, and talk to your loved ones about their wishes so that you are prepared should the situation arise.”
For more information about the law change and organ donation or to register your decision, please visit: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/uk-laws/organ-donation-law-in-england/ or call 0300 303 2094.