A new, updated version of the NHS Organ Donor Register was officially launched across the UK today, extending the choices a person has about their organ donation wishes.
As well as being able to record a decision to be an organ donor, the new Register will now, for the first time, enable people in Scotland to record their choice not to be an organ donor .
Existing registrations from the old NHS Organ Donor Register have been transferred to the new Register by NHS Blood and Transplant.
Public Health Minister, Maureen Watt, said: “The new NHS Organ Donor Register provides a more modern system which extends the choices people can make.
“Whether you choose to be an organ donor or would like the NHS to know your decision not to be one, I would encourage everyone to take some time to think carefully about the important issue of organ donation and make your wishes known through the new Register.
“However it is also vitally important that people make their wishes known to family and friends so that those wishes can be honoured in the event of a loved one’s death.
“While joining the Register is important, two thirds of people who donated their organs in the last five years weren’t on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Families who are aware of their loved one’s organ donation wishes are twice as likely to say ‘yes’ to donating their organs.
“If you register without telling the people closest to you, it may come as a surprise to them. Knowing organ donation is what you would have wanted could make their decision a lot easier to live with at a time when they are trying to deal with their loss.
“Therefore the new Register provides an ideal opportunity for people across Scotland to make sure their choices are up-to-date and to talk to family and friends about their decision to donate.”