Don’t leave family in the dark about organ donation, says NHS

Organ donation
Picture: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

FAMILIES in Berkshire are being urged to talk about organ donation as part of the Leave Them Certain campaign. 

It comes as research revealed less than half of adults in England have had the conversation.

Last year, the law changed in England, so all adults are seen as willing to donate their organs, unless they opt out or are in one of the excluded groups.

The Leave Them Certain campaign aims to highlight the impact not knowing someone’s decision has on the families.

In Berkshire, 342,305 people are currently on the NHS Organ Donor Register, with 16 people becoming donors in the last year — but the NHS needs more people to talk with their families about their decision. 

Many still don’t realise that families will still be approached before any donation goes ahead.

Research revealed 27% of people are worried the conversation will upset their family or make them feel uncomfortable.

Roughly one in four people said they felt they don’t need to tell anyone their decision, with 22% of people not wanting to talk about their own death. 

Anthony Clarkson, director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “People often tell us that they struggle to find the right time or words to talk about organ donation, unfortunately we see first-hand the impact not knowing has on families when the first time they consider their loved ones wishes around organ donation is when they are seriously ill or have already died. 

“Talk to your friends, talk to your family. Even though the law has changed, you can still sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register to provide your family with added reassurance. Please don’t wait. Have the conversation today.”

For more information, visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk 

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