Make your decision known

There are more than 550 people in Scotland waiting on a transplant.
There are more than 550 people in Scotland waiting on a transplant.

Residents in Forth Valley are being encouraged to make their organ donation decision known as the NHS Organ Donor Register marks its 25 year milestone.

Since its creation, there have been 1,868 organ donors in Scotland – a third (33 per cent) of which were known to be on the register – leading to over 6,000 lives being saved or improved.

In Forth Valley, 46.6 per cent of the population are currently on the NHS Organ Donor Register, with just over 2.6 million people having already registered their donation decision nationally (49 per cent of the Scottish population).

The centralised donor register allows Specialist Nurses in Organ Donation to quickly and easily check if someone has indicated they wish to donate and the register will continue to play an important role when the law around organ and tissue donation changes next autumn.

The change in law means that if people have not registered their decision, it may be assumed they are willing to donate when they die.

A sensitive discussion with the family will always take place when a person is dying and any decision registered will be made available to families to help them support what their relative would have wanted.

Everyone has a choice so people are being encouraged to make their organ decision known, now and in the lead up to the law change, by recording it on the register and importantly talking to their family about what they would want to happen.

Dr Helen Tyler, Clinical Lead for Organ Donation, NHS Forth Valley said: “Organ donation is a precious gift which saves and transforms lives.

“On this landmark anniversary and ahead of the law changing in autumn 2020, we’re encouraging people to think about their donation decision and make it known.

“As families are always involved in organ donation discussions, you can make it easier for them by telling them what you would want to happen.

“Everyone has a choice, and they can record their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register at any time.”

There are more than 550 people in Scotland currently waiting on a transplant. One donor can save or transform the lives of up to nine people and even more by donating tissue.

People can find out more about their choices at organdonationscotland.org.