From spring 2020 the organ donation law in England is changing to an opt-out model. It’s easy to understand why the Organ Donation Bill was passed in the House of Lords when you consider just 3,918 people have received a transplant in the UK since April 2018 – there are over 6,000 people remaining on the waiting list.
Around 1 in 100 deaths in the UK, each year, occur in circumstances which can result in the donation of organs. Each donor is vital due to the fact that organ donation can only happen in such a small number of cases.
There are many reasons to become an organ donor, or when 2020 comes, not to opt-out – here are our top five reasons to become a donor:
You Can Save A Life
This seems like an obvious one, but what could be a more important reason than saving someone’s life? You could drastically improve, or even save lives by becoming an organ donor. Organs that can be donated are the heart, lungs, liver, kidney, pancreas and intestines, meaning a single organ donor can save eight people. The donation of tissue from one person can improve the lives of up to 50 people.
It’s Simple To Register
If you want to sign up before the opt-out system comes into play, then registering to be an organ donor is simple, doesn’t cost anything and won’t take much time. Fill in a quick form online, click submit and you’re done.
The Organ Waiting List Continues To Grow
As we’ve previously mentioned, there are still thousands of people on the waiting list for an organ transplant. Just under 4,000 people received the vital transplant they need from April 2018-April 2019 and over 6,000 remain on the list.
People Die While Waiting For A Donor
Despite more transplants being facilitated in 2017/18 than ever before, people still die waiting for their vital transplant – more than 400 people died last year awaiting their donor.
It Could Help A Grieving Family
The passing of a loved one will understandably leave any family grieving. Becoming an organ donor can give family members something positive to look to from the death of a loved one. Knowing the person you are grieving for has given life and hope to another family can create light in an otherwise dark time.
Considering just one organ donor can save up to eight lives with organs and improve up to 50 lives with tissue donation, becoming a donor could be the positive legacy you leave. Many people are put off registering to become an organ donor due to a variety of myths and misinformation. The NHS website can answer many questions to help you understand the process and dispel any misconceptions surrounding organ donation.
After you’ve made the decision to be an organ donor, you may start to consider what else will happen to you, your wealth and loved ones after you are gone. Beyond, the funeral comparison company, find that many people who become organ donors also make plans in the event of their death by having a will written up, as well as making actual funeral plans and finding a funeral director.
When you take into account more than 6,000 people in the UK alone are awaiting a transplant, the new opt-out system feels like a very positive step. If you’re inspired to become an organ donor before the new law in 2020, have a conversation with your family to make your wishes clear and visit the NHS Blood and Transplant website to register.