During this year’s Organ Donation Week, the NHS is encouraging people to share organ donation decisions with their families, highlighting how ‘words save lives’.
According to the NHS, three people die every day in need of an organ transplant, often because families have not discussed the subject and do not know whether to consent to donation on behalf of their relatives.
Anyone can register to donate their organs and tissues when they die, regardless of their age or medical condition.
Why should I discuss my wishes regarding organ donation?
Your family’s support is needed for donation to go ahead and the decision to donate may need to be made quickly. Sharing your views about organ donation can make this decision easier and help to ensure your wishes are followed. Without these discussions, family members can be left guessing whether you would consent to organ donation, which can also lead to disagreements.
How can I make my wishes about organ donation known?
As well as telling your family about your wishes, you can carry a donor card and you can register your wishes here. Your details will be added to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Whilst you can include your wishes about organ donation and funeral arrangements in your Will, they are not legally binding. They will however provide clear instructions for your executors to follow and further confirmation of your wishes.
Consider making a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This allows you to appoint someone to act with legal authority on your behalf if you lose the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself. A Health and Welfare LPA allows you to express wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment, including organ donation.
For further information about Organ Donation Week, please click here.
If you would like more information on this topic or would like to discuss making a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney, please contact a member of the Private Client team on 01733 887675.