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Three people die every day due to organ donor shortage

Organ Donation Week starting today hopes to encourage more people to join organ donor register

Mark Gould

Monday, 05 September 2016

Three people die every day in the UK due to the shortage of people willing to donate an organ. With over 6,500 people currently on the transplant waiting list to mark to the start of Organ Donation Week, today NHS Blood and Transplant is encouraging the public to start a conversation with family and friends about signing up to the organ donor register.

The campaign has the support of a wide range of medical charities including the British Liver Trust and the Dying Matters Coalition which was set up by the National Council for Palliative Care, to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement.

Claire Henry MBE, chief executive of Dying Matters, said “talking about death won’t make it happen, and it’s important for us all to put our plans in place. One of the key decisions we all have to make is about organ donation, so that we have a chance to make life better for other people after we die.”

Dying Matter’s own survey from earlier this year found that only 33% of adults in Great Britain have registered to become an organ donor, or carry an organ donor card. Women are ahead of men in this regard, with 38% saying they are prepared to be organ donors compared with only 28% of men.

“It’s important to discuss our end-of-life choices with our loved ones, and to make sure our wishes are written down. Organ Donation Week is a great chance to start that conversation, and to show that talking about death is nothing to be worried about. Once we have our plans in place, including our organ donation wishes, we can all get on with living our lives to the full," Ms Henry added.

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