Close relatives are more than twice as likely to support organ donation
if they have discussed the possibility as a family, according to new
research for National Transplant Week. Currently, family refusal for
organ donation in the UK is one of the highest in Europe.
Craig Boden, 30, who is waiting for a liver transplant, reveals what it’s like to be on the other end of the donation process.
In a survey carried out for NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), family support rates for organ donation rose from just 41 per cent when wishes about organ donation were unknown to 95 per cent when relatives had been made aware of the potential donor’s wishes before the event.
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The poll also revealed that more than half of us (52 per cent) haven’t mentioned our wishes to our family, possibly because 48 per cent don’t realise that they must give their consent, even for those registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).
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The biggest reason given for not discussing donation with family was simply that they hadn’t got round to it. But 28 per cent were unaware they needed to and 18 per cent assumed their family would just know.
Reassuringly 93 per cent of those who had spoken to their family found the conversation easy.
“The family refusal rate for organ donation in the UK is one of the highest in Europe at 45 per cent and we know a large part of that is down to people not discussing their wishes with their families,” explained Sally Johnson, NHSBT’s Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation.
“We need to work with families to make donors’ wishes a reality. So, when people join the ODR they should tell those closest to them so that their wishes don’t come as a surprise at a time of bereavement. This could affect their decision to proceed with organ donation.”
You can sign up to the ODR on the NHS website.