Anthony J Clarkson, interim director – Organ Donation and Transplantation, NHS Blood and Transplant, requests that we encourage discussion on the benefits of organ donation.
It’s Organ Donation Week 2018. This is our opportunity every year to seek to encourage discussion of organ donation across the UK. I am immensely grateful to be given this opportunity to reach out via the ICS and share a plea for help.
Every day in the UK three people die because the organ for transplant they so desperately needed did not arrive in time. Look around you now and imagine that rate of attrition, three people every day dying needlessly, all that life and hope ended. It’s this stark image is that drives us to encourage everyone to think about their own personal organ donation decision, and just as importantly to have a conversation about that decision with their loved ones.
We know over 80% of the UK population believe in organ donation. When someone is on the Organ Donor Register and their family know they want to be an organ donor, 92% of families support their loved one’s donation decision. Unfortunately, where a family doesn’t know the wishes of their loved one the number who agree to donation drops down to just under 50%.
So, my plea this Organ Donation Week is simple: if you want to be an organ donor you share that message loud and clear, and if you believe in organ donation you take the opportunity this special week offers to have a conversation. Only by spreading the word can we offer hope to those waiting for an organ hoping for ‘the call’ before time runs out. Words Save Lives, that is our motto this Organ Donation Week and with your help we can make that a reality.
I salute all the amazing lifesavers and their even more courageous loved ones. Thank you.
Anthony J Clarkson
Interim Director – Organ Donation and Transplantation, NHS Blood and Transplant