When it comes to recording your wishes, this can beyond choosing the music at your funeral, people who you’d like to attend (or not) and the type of flowers you would like. Recording your wishes provides not only peace of mind in later life for you, but clarity for your family too, so they know what you would’ve wanted.
Organ donation is often (in our experience) something that many people feel very strongly about.
Whether you are passionate about being a donor, or you feel very strongly that you don’t want to have your organs donated; it is important your family know your exact wishes.
Everyone can join the NHS Organ Donor Register regardless of age, as long as they:
- are legally capable of making the decision
- live in the UK
Over 400 people on the UK transplant list died last year waiting for organ donation.
Currently, more than 6 out of 10 families agree to organ donation. However, it has been said that to meet the needs of patients, at least 8 out of 10 families are required to support donation to save and improve lives.
How to become an organ donor:
There are two important steps you need to take:
- Join the NHS Organ Donor Register
- Or by phone on 0300 123 23 23
- Tell your family and friends that you have joined the register and want to be a donor so they can support your decision, as their support is needed for donation to go ahead.
Telling your family that you want to be an organ donor and carrying an organ donor card are equally valid forms of consent. That said, sometimes organ donor cards are not available. We would always advise that you register your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and then share this decision with your family or loves you trust to act on your behalf.
The law around organ donation is changing in 2020!
From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die, unless they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups. These groups will include people under 18, people who have lived in England for less than 12 months and people who lack the capacity to understand the change.
This change will be to an ‘opt out’ system. You may also hear it referred to as ‘Max and Keira’s Law’.
Whereas previously (and currently), you would’ve needed to opt–in and register (and also let your family know), you will now need to actively choose not to be an organ donor.
Wales introduced the opt out system in 2015 and have reported significant improvement for organ donation; something the Government hope to see in England, too.
So, after 2020, I don’t need to record my wishes if I want to be organ donor?
Once the new opt out system comes into effect in England in 2020, if you have not expressed your decision to opt out of organ donation and are not in an excluded group, your consent to donate your organs will be assumed.
So even if you don’t record a decision that you want to be an organ donor, you should let your family know what you want.
Other things to consider about organ donation…
There are lots of things to consider about organ donation and we have only covered the basics, above.
You may have lots of questions, such as:
- Will they automatically take my organs if I don’t opt out?
- I am happy to donate some but not all of my organs, should I opt out?
- I’m not sure I want to make an organ donation decision myself. What should I do?
The NHS provides a very comprehensive guide to organ donation, well worth reading, regardless of what your choice is.
Recording your wishes around organ donation…
Your family will always be consulted before donation takes place. This is why it is important that your family and friends know your choice. This makes it easier for them to honour your choice, whatever that choice is.
You can detail your EXACT wishes, safely, with a My Last Request subscription! Find out more here…