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Let's talk about organ donation

A year on from the law changing in England, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is urging people to talk to their families about organ donation.

Working with NHS Blood and Transplant, the Trust wants to increase the number of people whose lives can be saved or transformed by an organ transplant.

Since the law came into effect on 20 May 2020, people in England are considered as willing to donate, unless they have opted out, are in one of the excluded groups or have told their family they don’t want to donate. Similar legislation was introduced in Wales in 2015 and Scotland also switched to an opt-out system in March this year.

However, even though the law has now changed, people still have a choice and families will still be consulted if organ donation becomes a possibility.

Dr Mike Knapton
Dr Mike Knapton

Chair of the CUH organ donation committee and Trust non-executive director, Dr Mike Knapton said: "Families will still be approached before organ donation goes ahead."

Sadly, many opportunities are lost each year because families don’t know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not. Please don’t wait. Speak to your family about organ donation today.

Chair of the CUH organ donation committee and Trust non-executive director, Dr Mike Knapton

Before the law change, around 80% of people in England said that they supported organ donation in principle, but only 38% had actually recorded their decision to donate. When asked, the majority said they just hadn’t got around to it.

Anthony Clarkson, director of Organ and tissue donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said:

With organ donation and transplantation both heavily impacted by the pandemic, it is more important than ever for people to have the conversation and let their families know what they want to happen in the event of their death.

NHS Blood and Transplant director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation, Anthony Clarkson

“Register your organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell your family the choice you have made. If the time comes, we know families find the organ donation conversation much easier if they already know what their relative wanted.”

Find out more and register your decision by visiting NHS Organ Donor Register at Users of the NHS app can also use the service to register, check or update their preferences.