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Organ donation and ethnicity

We need people from all ethnicity to join the NHS Organ Donor Register. But, some communities have concerns about giving or receiving donations.

Religious beliefs

Deciding to donate your organs and tissues is a very personal thing. Only you can make that decision.

The major religions in the UK support the principles of organ transplant.

These include:

They accept that organ donation is a personal choice. If you have any doubts, you should talk to your spiritual or religious leader.

Ethnic background

We need more donors from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups because:

  • Some blood and Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) types are more common among some ethnic groups
  • Some ethnic groups are more likely to develop medical conditions that need blood, organs or tissue donations
  • People needing bone marrow are more likely to find a match with someone with a similar ethnic background

We have carried out successful organ transplants between people from different ethnic groups. But some people with rare blood types may only be able to get a matched organ from someone of the same ethnic origin.  So it’s important that people from all ethnic backgrounds register to donate organs.

Facts

Black and Asian patients are more likely to need a kidney transplant than white people. This is because they can easily develop conditions that lead to kidney failure. These include:

People from BAME groups have to wait about twice as long as white people for kidney transplants.

Join the NHS Organ Donor Register

  • Call us on 0300 123 23 23
  • Text SAVE to 62323

You can also join when you:

  • Register for a driving licence
  • Apply for a Boots Advantage card
  • Register at a GP surgery
  • Register for a European Health Insurance card (EHIC)

Further information