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Home /  Blog / Charity / Organ Donation: How to register and how to opt out?

Organ Donation: How to register and how to opt out?

4th September 2018 in Charity

Organ Donation Week is an annual event to raise awareness and encourage people to discuss organ donation with their families.

Most people don’t realise that if they haven’t verbalised their preference it automatically falls to your family to consent to your donation, which may not necessarily reflect your own views or beliefs.

Organ Donation Week acts as a reminder to have this conversation with your family and express your thoughts and feelings. Every year millions of donation opportunities are lost as families are unsure if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not. Specifically, within fatal cases, many families can feel emotionally unable to come to such a decision- and with the small window of time for the donation to take place- the opportunity passes.

With time and the stabilising of emotions, many life to regret their choice, and express wishing they had clarity from their loved ones regarding their preference. The UK has some of the lowest rates of organ donation in Western Europe and said NHS figures revealed around 500 people were dying every year due to a lack of suitable donors.

We currently have a system in place to combat this issue, giving you the opportunity to register as an organ donor which insures doctors only remove organs from people who have registered to it, or respect the wishes of the individuals who opt out aka declaring they do not wish to be signed up as a donor, regardless of their family's consent.

What types of donations are there?

The NHS lists three different ways to donate:

Donation following brain death (DBD):

This person would have had a severe brain injury and permanently lost the potential for consciousness and the capacity to breathe.

Donation following circulatory death (DCD):

This is when a person has irreversible loss of function of the heart and lungs after a cardiac arrest from which the person cannot or should not be resuscitated. It can also be the planned withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from a person cared for in a critical care environment.

Living donation:

Whilst you are still alive you can choose to donate organs, most commonly, a kidney through a medical operation.

None of us likes to think about the worst happening. It is challenging to have conversations with loved ones about their wishes after death, but the importance of putting these plans into place is paramount and Organ Donation Week is the perfect time to consider it. To register as a donor or opt out takes only 2 minutes to put into place.

Register your preference today 



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