Will they let you die if you’re on the organ donor register?
I have been asked this question countless times. To some of you reading this, it might seem ridiculous. To others, it feels like a genuine concern.
The answer is no. Here’s a little more detail as to why.
- The paramedic/healthcare professional looking after you while you are alive would likely not know if you were on the organ donor register or not.
- Death is confirmed by doctors who are completely independent to the transplant team. Meaning there is no room for overlap.
- There are strict criteria in place in the UK to help those who care for the dying, by providing safe, timely and consistent criteria for the diagnosis of death. Organs are never removed until the death has been confirmed in line with these strict criteria.
- The transplant team then have to discuss with your family first. Even if you are on the organ donor register, the transplant team will not take your organs after death without your families consent.
Organ donation is a gift. It is your choice. No one will force you to give a gift that you don’t want to give. No one will treat you any differently if you decide to give or not to give.
The NHS is here for you, to prolong your life and improve your health whenever you need it.
Being on the organ donor register and having the option to give life after life is a gift in itself. And thanks to those who do choose to give, organ donation continues to transform and save countless lives.