Donating organs and tissue

While you are putting together your Plan If, it might be the time to think about organ and tissue donation.  If you decide to go ahead, you can sign up online to the Organ Donation Register. One donor has the potential to save eight lives and improve up to 50.

Whether or not you sign up, it is important that your next of kin knows what you have chosen. Your wishes are a useful guide but your next of kin are not bound to carry them out and your donation may, for medical reasons, not be possible.

Two things are important: firstly that it seems as if having the conversation about your wishes really would help your next of kin to make the very hard decision if the occasion ever arises: only 45% of families agree to organ donation if they aren’t aware of their relative’s wishes, rising to 95% when they are aware. And secondly, even knowing that you intended to make a donation may be comforting to your family if you were to die; they can build it into their story of you.

Some members of some religious groups may be unsure about organ and tissue donation: information is available here.