Being able to donate organs and tissue to help people who desperately need transplants is one of the great miracles of modern medicine. However, it is important to reassure people that if they are admitted to hospital in a critical condition, the absolute first priority of doctors is always to save their patient's life. It is only if a patient has died or is expected to die imminently as their injuries are not expected to be survivable that donation is considered.
Right at this moment in Scotland, around 550 people with life-threatening illnesses are on transplant waiting lists. So it is important for everyone to decide whether they want to be a donor and to share that decision with their family.
You can indicate your wish to be an organ donor by telling a relative or close friend, carrying an organ donor card or by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Joining the Register makes it easier for healthcare professionals to establish your decision. And knowing that organ donation is what you wanted could make the decision easier for your family at a difficult time. Families who know the wishes of their loved ones are TWICE as likely to agree to donating organs.
You can also record your decision not to donate on the Register. Or, if you have already joined, you can update your details or withdraw your name from the Register. But whatever you decide, it’s important to share your wishes with your loved ones.
Would you be willing to accept an organ transplant if you needed one? If you would, please consider joining the NHS Organ Donor Register today.
Your decision could one day give someone else a second chance of life.