Organ Donation

UK Transplant statement on
directed donation of organs after death

UK Transplant offers its condolences to the family of Laura Ashworth ? and hope that they are able to find comfort in the knowledge that honouring her wish to be an organ donor has helped three people.

Organ transplantation is a subject that generates strong debate and opinions. Inevitably the intense media coverage about this case has focused on how donated organs for transplantation are allocated.

The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) is the regulatory body tasked with ensuring that organ donation and transplantation is carried out according to the provisions of The Human Tissue Act 2004.

UK Transplant, part of the NHS, matches and allocates donated organs for transplantation in accordance with the principles and legal frameworks set out by the Human Tissue Authority.

The system for allocating these precious resources is designed to ensure that the process is as fair as possible and that those who are most sick, and therefore in most need, are most likely to benefit.

The allocation procedures are constantly monitored to ensure they remain as effective as possible. The process is centred around clinical criteria to help determine the best possible match, which takes into account blood group, size, age and, for kidneys, tissue type.

UK Transplant keenly awaits the results of the HTA review into directed donation after death and, meanwhile, continues to play its part in helping hundreds of people every month to receive a life-saving transplant.

UK Transplant also maintains the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR) – the UK-wide centralised database of people who have recorded their wish to help others by donating organs for transplant after their death.

There are currently over 15.1 million people on the ODR and every person who joins the register – and discusses their wishes with their family – is offering hope to the 9,000-plus people currently needing an organ transplant to save or transform their life.

Organ transplantation is one of the great medical advances that continues to save and transform thousands of lives every year – yet the chronic shortage of donated organs remains the biggest obstacle to more people benefiting from a transplant.

15 April 2008

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