Organ donors should let family know of intentions, says NHS

From BBC - September 3, 2017

More than 450 relatives of organ donors declined permission to donate as they were unsure of their relatives' wishes in 2016, figures have shown.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) says families are reluctant to give their loved one's organs to patients.

Last year, 457 people died while on the active transplant waiting list, and currently there are 6,414 patients waiting for organs.

NHSBT says donors should ensure they have told relatives of their wishes.

Assistant director of organ donation Anthony Clarkson: "It's a tragedy, hundreds of people are dying unnecessarily every year waiting for transplants.

"We know that if everyone who supported donation talked about it and agreed to donate, most of those lives would be saved."

It is campaigning for more people to become donors, and let their families know their intensions, as part of Organ Donation Week which began on Monday and ends on Sunday.

Currently England and Northern Ireland operate an opt-in scheme, where potential donors need to make their wishes known.

Whereas in Wales, the NHS has an opt-out clause, where people inform the NHS Organ Donor Register if they do not want to donate.

Scotland is set to also offer an opt-out, but the permission of a donor's family will still be sought.


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