Organ donation and whole body donation

organ and body donation

Organ donation and whole body donation – leaving your body to science – offer all of us the chance the gift life after death.

Waiting lists for transplants in the UK are long and there is always a need for healthy working organs. By agreeing to be an organ donor, you can help other people live after you’ve gone. What better gift to give than the gift of life?

The law is changing around organ donation – moving towards opt-out rather than opt-in so check your country’s info.

England & Wales 
Northern Ireland

Organ donation

When it comes to organ donation, age, gender and skin colour don’t matter. What matters is that you could help save peoples’ parents, children, family members and friends by becoming an organ donor. Most organ donations happen after death and one person’s organs can save numerous lives. The donation operation is performed as soon as possible after death which means your family can proceed with funeral arrangements without interference.

Don’t keep it to yourself…

It is important to make your organ donation wishes clear to others to avoid confusion and difficult discussions for your close ones. You can capture your wishes as part of your Will.

Cover all bases and go online to register as an organ donor as well. If you are on the NHS Donor Register it makes the process for medical staff easier and is another step towards ensuring your wishes are clear.

Whole body donation

By donating your whole body to science you can help with education, training and research. There won’t be a body for your funeral but your family can still hold a ceremony to celebrate your life and your generosity will go on to help advancements in science and medical understanding. Friend of Final Fling Dave is interested in this option and blogged for us about his discoveries when he Googled “leaving my body to science” and followed up by investigating whole body donation.

Plan ahead

If you want to leave your body to science, you can’t just write it into your Will.  It is essential to arrange whole body donation with a ‘receiving organisation’, be it a university or a hospital in advance of death, signing and having your signature witnessed in a consent form. This form will include the finer details of your wishes, such as restrictions on the length of time your body is kept and consent regarding the use of images of your body for training and research. It is important for you to think carefully about your preferences and make them known. See the Human Tissue Authority for contacts across the UK where you can register to donate.  Phone 020 7269 1988.

Organ donation stories

As the video below shows, organ donation can have life saving and life changing effects. The end of your life may be hard to think about but the truth is that organ donation after death can help others live longer, happier and healthier lives. And the amazing thing is that one person’s organs can help several others to survive and live longer.

One person’s organ donation can restore sight, help ill children get back to playing with friends, and give someone more time with their loved ones. And all it takes from you in your life time is a carefully considered decision. After that, the tricky part is left to the doctors.

Organ donation stats and facts:

  • 10,000 people in the UK currently need a transplant
  • 3,000 people in the UK get a new lease of life each year thanks to donors
  • 1,000 people die each year-3 a day waiting for organs
  • 500,000 of us die every year – think about all the organ donations this could mean

As it stands, only a one-in-thee people who need an organ transplant receive one. Think of the difference that could be made to so many lives if more of us became donors.

Religious views

It’s true that religions may have some different views on organ donation but all the major religions in the UK support the principles of organ and body donation.