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Leaving your organs in your Will
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Why donate my organs?

Every year hundreds of people die while waiting for an organ transplant as there is a shortage of available organs.

By donating your organs when you die you could save someone else’s life or even a number of peoples lives.

How can I arrange for my organs to be donated when I die?

If you want to donate your organs when you die ideally you should make the arrangements before you die as organs and tissues can only be removed from a deceased person with consent.

The consent need not be that of the deceased person. A person who has been nominated by a deceased person to act on his or her behalf can provide the necessary consent, as can a person who is in a “qualifying relationship” with the deceased, such as a partner, relative or friend. However, if you do wish to donate your organs it is preferable that you give your consent while you are still alive so as to avoid your loved ones having to make the difficult decision at a time when they are mourning their loss.

If you make it clear that you do, or do not, wish to donate your organs or tissues upon your death, your wish must be respected and cannot be overridden after your death.

You can indicate your wish to be a donor by carrying a donor card or by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Can the consent be contained in a will?

You can consent to your organs being donated by including a provision in your will. If you give your consent in your will you do not need to carry a donor card or join the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, it is a good idea for you to make your wishes known in some other way in addition, for example by carrying and donor card and/or by joining the NHS Organ Donation Register and to make sure that your loved ones are aware of the provision contained in your will. The reason for this is that organs and tissue have a short life and, therefore, your loved ones will need to make decisions about the transplantation of your organs quickly and perhaps before they have had the opportunity to read your will.

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