Organ Donation - Have Your Say

Posted on: 26 November 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

NHS Blood and Transplant is asking members of the public to take part in its first online survey to test people's motivations in joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.


NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) welcomes the Government’s call for more people across the country to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register. This call from Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, came in response to the Taskforce report recommending that an opt-out system for organ donation should not be introduced in the UK at this time.

Have Your Say Here

www.uktransplant.org.uk

The Taskforce concludes instead that full implementation of the major changes outlined in its first report in January 2008 can deliver a 50 per cent increase in organ donor numbers by 2013. Work is already underway on these changes.

In order to help shape a campaign to raise awareness and understanding about organ donation, NHSBT is asking members of the public to take part in a short online survey at www.uktransplant.org.uk. This initial survey will test people’s motivations in joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and, crucially, current barriers to doing so.

The need to address prevalent misconceptions about organ donation will be an important factor in the campaign. These include the common - but incorrect - belief that older people can’t be organ donors.

Education in schools about all types of donation - of organs, blood, bone marrow and tissues - is also integral to encouraging the donors of the future. NHSBT has recently issued a substantially revised version of its educational programme, 'Give and Let Live', to secondary schools across the country.

Lynda Hamlyn, Chief Executive of NHS Blood and Transplant, says, "With nearly 16 million people registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register, there is no question about the level of altruism among the general public. We see this day after day with people whose generosity in donating organs and blood enables many lives to be saved and improved every year."

“Nevertheless, there remains an urgent need to address the gap between the number of people waiting for an organ transplant and those receiving one. The Government’s public commitment to organ donation and support for the necessary changes underway has marked a watershed in our ability to marshal the necessary resources behind the much-needed increase in rates of organ donation and transplantation in the UK.”

Have Your Say

NHSBT encourage you to have your say with their first online survey that measures public opinion. Visit www.uktransplant.org.uk and take part today.

Organ Donation

The NHS Organ Donor Register is a confidential database used to identify those who have registered and indicated that they wish to be organ and/or tissue donors in the event of their death. It can be accessed by authorised medical staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to establish an individual wishes on donation.

The Human Tissue Act 2004 makes clear that the wishes of the deceased must be put first. Where a person has expressed a wish to donate by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register, carrying a donor card or verbally or in writing to a family member or friend, NHS staff will do all they can to ensure those wishes are fulfilled.

You are more likely to need a transplant than become a donor. Despite the thousands of life-saving transplant operations that take place each year, almost 8,000 people are registered for a transplant, of whom about 1,000 will die while waiting. Last year, 3,237 people received the gift of life through organ donation, while a further 2,489 had their sight restored through a cornea transplant.

Register

There are currently almost 16 million people on the Organ Donor Register. If you would like to add your name, please ring 0845 60 60 400 or go to www.uktransplant.org.uk.

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