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We will only use organs from a donor with their consent or with their family’s consent after they die.
If you want to make a real difference by being an organ or tissue donor after your death, there are two important steps you need to take:
If you die in circumstances in which you can donate, medical staff will consult the NHS Organ Donor Register to see if you had recorded a decision about organ donation.
It is important to discuss your decision with your family so that if the time ever comes, your relatives are in no doubt that their loved one wanted to be an organ donor.
If your family, or those closest to you, object to donation even when you have given your explicit permission (either by telling relatives, friends or clinical staff, by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register or by carrying a donor card) healthcare professionals will discuss the matter sensitively with them.
They will be encouraged to accept your decision and it will be made clear that they do not have the legal right to veto or overrule your decision. There may, nevertheless, be cases where it would be inappropriate for donation to go ahead if donation would cause distress to your family.
NHS professionals will speak to your GP about your medical and social history. But you should also tell a close friend or colleague about your decision as they may be able to provide information to help us.
Where the decision of a person who has died is not known, the Human Tissue Acts rank people who had a relationship with them. This enables healthcare professionals seeking permission for donation to know who they should approach and in what order. This ranges from a spouse or partner (including civil or same sex partner); parent or child; brother or sister; other relatives, to a friend of long standing.
By the time your will is read it's likely to be far too late for you to become a donor. Therefore, it is important to let your family and friends know now that you want to be an organ donor.
You can check if you are registered or update your preferences by:
You can also update your details or change your preferences online.
We can only use your organs and tissue for research after you die, if:
We will not accept your body for medical research:
But, if you donated only your corneas, you can leave your body for research
To find out more information about whole body donation for research purposes or for anatomical examination please contact the following organisations;