What is organ donation and why is it important?
Being able to donate organs and tissue to help people who desperately need transplants is one of the great miracles of modern medicine. However, it is important to reassure people that if they are admitted to hospital in a critical condition, the absolute first priority of doctors is always to save their patient’s life. It is only if a patient has died or is expected to die imminently as their injuries are not expected to be survivable that donation is considered.
Right at this moment in Scotland, around 550 people with life-threatening illnesses are on transplant waiting lists. So it is important for everyone to decide whether they want to be a donor and to share that decision with their family.
From 26 March 2021 if you die in the rare circumstances where you could become a donor and have not recorded a donation decision, you will be considered to have agreed to be a donor when you die, unless you have chosen to opt out.
Organ and tissue donation remain a personal decision and you have a choice. It is important that you register your decision and the best way to do this is on the NHS Organ Donor Register.