NHS Forth Valley encourages people to share their donation decision

Ahead of the move to an opt out system of organ and tissue donation this Friday (26 March 2021), NHS Forth Valley has urged people to make time to share their donation decision.

The change in law means that if people aged 16 and over haven’t recorded a decision about donation, they will be considered a possible donor if they die in circumstances in which they could donate.

A national campaign, running in the lead up to the law change, highlights that everyone has a choice – to be a donor or to opt out of donation – and the importance of people making their donation decision known.

People can record their decision to be a donor or to opt out on the NHS Organ Donor Register at any time.  If people do nothing when the law changes, it will be assumed they agree to donate, unless they are in a group for whom the law does not apply.

Sharing that decision with family remains important as they will still be involved in the donation process and having that knowledge can make it easier for them to ensure a loved one’s decision is honoured.

The opt out system will add to the package of measures already in place in Scotland, which have led to significant increases in donation and transplantation over the last decade.

There are an average of around 500 people waiting on an organ transplant at any one time, however only around one per cent of people die in a way that makes organ donation possible.

Dr Helen Tyler, Consultant in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine and Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at NHS Forth Valley said: “The law around organ and tissue donation is changing to help save and improve lives.  I’d encourage people to think about what they’d want to happen as every opportunity for donation is precious.

“Whatever you decide, record it on the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell your family to help ensure that decision is honoured.  If you’ve already recorded your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register, there is no need to re-register as it will still stand when the new law is introduced.”

For more about the law change, and to record your donation decision, visit organdonationscotland.org or call 0300 303 2094.