facts about organ and tissue donation

 Anyone can be a donor

Anyone can register as a donor: young, old, large or small, ill or healthy. Donation involves multiple organs and tissues, which means people who are ill or using medication can still say ‘yes'; if an illness or medication would render a particular organ unsuitable for donation, there will often still be others that could be good candidates for a transplant.

A doctor cannot determine whether the organs and tissues are suitable for donation until after the person has passed away. You are never too old to donate either; there is always a chance that you can donate an organ or tissue, whatever your age.

 You can save up to 8 lives after you die

There are 8 organs that can be donated: the liver, lungs, heart, kidneys, pancreas and small intestine. Your tissues can also improve the quality of life for many ill people; the tissues you can donate are your skin, corneas, bone tissue including tendons and cartilage, heart valves and blood vessels.

 The chances of you needing an organ donation are much higher than the chances of being able to donate once you die

It is much more likely that you will need an organ donation at some point in your life than that you will be able to donate one yourself; it is only possible to donate an organ if you die in hospital. In most cases this occurs when a person is brain-dead following a cerebral haemorrhage or traffic accident. This means that they are legally dead, but artificial respiration can keep the organs supplied with oxygen-rich blood, allowing them to remain suitable for transplanting.

The fact that organ donation is so often impossible is what makes it so important that as many people as possible register to become donors.

 Doctors are in the business of saving lives and will always do their best for their patients

Of course! Why would a doctor favour one patient over another? Doctors cannot know in advance which organs or tissues will be suitable for donation; they will only know once the patient has died and this has been investigated.

 The majority of religions and life stances have a positive view of organ donation

Most religions and life stances approve of organ donation. Proponents of organ donation say they believe it is important to help heal the sick. Dissidents claim that the body should remain intact after death. If you have doubts, you can always debate the question with a member of the clergy or another appropriate person within your faith community.

 Everyone has an equal right to a transplant

 it is not possible to specify conditions for the beneficiary. If permission has been given for donation, the necessary medical records and other information on the donor are retrieved. This information is used to search for a suitable beneficiary. The assignment of organs and tissues is carried out by an independent centre and is based solely on medical data such as blood group, tissue type, height and weight, although urgency of requirement and waiting times will also be considered.

Everyone is equally entitled to receive a transplant.  it is not possible to specify conditions for the beneficiary. If permission has been given for donation, the necessary medical records and other information on the donor are retrieved. This information is used to search for a suitable beneficiary. The assignment of organs and tissues is carried out by an independent centre and is based solely on medical data such as blood group, tissue type, height and weight, although urgency of requirement and waiting times will also be considered. Everyone is equally entitled to receive a transplant.