Western Trust encourage families to discuss organ donation

Dr Declan Grace, lead clinician organ donation.
Dr Declan Grace, lead clinician organ donation.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) is encouraging families to sit down with their loved ones, tomorrow December 11, 2015 and discuss their wishes on organ donation. Talking to your family or a friend about your decision to register as a potential organ donor is very important. By sharing your decision on Organ Donation Family Discussion Day, those closest to you will know your wishes in case anything should happen.

In Northern Ireland approximately 200 patients each year need a transplant. Sadly each year approximately 15 patients in Northern Ireland die while awaiting a transplanted organ.

When consent for organ donation is sought the patient’s next of kin are always consulted and any decision they make is respected. Occasionally, although a patient had wished to donate and had registered as a potential donor their family refuses consent for donation. A common reason for refusal is that families of potential donors are often unaware of their loved one’s wishes to be an organ donor. Research has shown that families who are aware of their loved one’s wishes to be an organ donor are more likely to consent to donation should the situation arise.

Dr Declan Grace, Lead Clinician for Organ Donation at the Western Trust said: “Becoming an organ donor is entirely your decision but it does affect your family. When families know the wishes of their loved ones it can alleviate some of the stress from the situation and can give them the confidence to fulfill your wish of being an organ donor.

“No one wants to think or talk about dying but set in the context of helping one or more than one person after death the conversation becomes easier. The more people pledge to donate their organs and tissues after their death, the more people stand to benefit. Organ donation transforms and saves lives and we encourage everyone to join the register and tell their loved ones about their wishes.”

To sign up to the organ donor register call the NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or for more information visit Organ Donation Northern Ireland: www.organdonationni.info