Can I donate my organs upon death?
16 August 2021 by Jane Golding
Many of us are probably not aware but as of the 20 May 2020 the Government changed the Organ Donation system. Under the new law all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die.
Organ donation varies across different countries. In England the organ donation law changed and all Adults in England are now considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they died, unless they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups. In Wales legislation is “deemed consent” which means that if you have not registered an organ and tissue donation decision you will be considered to have no objection to becoming a donor. In Scotland the legislation is “deemed authorisation” which means that if you have not confirmed whether you want to be a donor or not, you will be considered to be willing to donate your organs and tissue when you die.
Why was this introduced?
Organ transplantations have generally increased over recent years to almost 3.8 thousand in 2019/2020. There were approximately 7.4 thousand potential donors on the register of which only 1.6 thousand were actual donors. The NHS statistics indicate that there are 5778 people waiting for a transplant in the UK and 811 people have received a transplant since April 2021.
Who can become an organ donor?
Anyone can make the decision to become a donor after death, there is no age limit.
Can Children join the NHS Organ Donor Register?
Parents and guardians can register their children, and children can register themselves. Children who are under 12 in Scotland and under 18 in the rest of the UK at the time of registration will require their parent or guardian’s agreement for donation to take place.
Can you become an organ donor if you have a medical condition?
Having an illness or medical condition does not necessarily prevent a person from becoming an organ or tissue donor. The decision about whether some or all of your organs or tissue are suitable for transplant will be made by Medical Specialist at the time of the donation obviously taking into account your medical history, travel and social history. There are very few conditions where organ donation is ruled out completely.
Can you become an organ donor if you have had Cancer?
Someone with current active cancer cannot become an organ donor. However, it may be possible for people with certain types of cancers to donate after three years of treatment. It may also be possible to donate corneas and some tissue in these circumstances.
Can you become an organ donor if you have a tattoo?
Having a tattoo does not prevent you from becoming an organ donor.
Can you become an organ donor if you drink alcohol?
Drinking alcohol does not prevent you from becoming an organ donor. Although a heavy alcohol intake might affect your ability to donate some organs.