Let’s Talk Organ Donation
Organ donation is a difficult conversation to have with anyone. And it doesn’t get easier as our loved ones get older. However, this is when we need to have the conversation, and ensure that we completely understand their wishes, whatever they may be.
Organ Donation Week
Organ donation week is being held from the 20th to the 26th of September. The aim of the week is to normalise the conversation around organ donation and to help families have that discussion before anything should happen. The awareness week is heavily supported by the NHS with more information than ever now being available on the NHS Organ Donation website.
In May 2020 organ donation laws changed. Previously you had to opt in to organ donation. However, this has now changed that you have to opt-out of organ donation. So how can you have this conversation with your loved ones?
For many, they are quite happy to have their name down on the organ donation register, however, once they are gone, their families are still consulted in the matter, with many then opting not to let their loved one’s organs be donated.
Most will have the view that their organs are no good to them once they are gone, so why not allow them to be used by someone else. Typically, family members unfortunately will overrule this decision as they would like to bury or cremate their lives as a whole. For others, it is simply religious.
As the family have the final say, it is important that you have a conversation with your loved ones as to what their wishes are. Especially now that it is an opt-out rather than in. We would encourage families to respect the wishes of their loved ones should they wish to donate, as it allows those in need to have a second chance.
Across the country there are many thousands of people on waiting lists for organs, for another chance at life, or even for the chance of a normal life that they have not yet had. Simply allowing your organs to be donated can save many lives. Providing your organs are all healthy, each one could go towards saving a different person.
Those on waiting lists will be spread across all blood types, races, religions and genders. This means that no matter your heritage, your organs will play a vital part in saving the lives of others.
How Can Lovett Care Help?
Here at Lovett Care, our teams have all had experience in a number of uncomfortable conversations that sometimes the loved ones cannot have. If you do not feel like you can have this conversation with your loved one, or would like a member of our care team to be present to make it a little easier, please contact the team at your relevant care home who will be happy to discuss your options.
We encourage the families of our residents to respect the wishes of the resident when having this conversation. In some cases, they want to donate and will not accept the families pleas not to. For others, it is quite the opposite. As this is a delicate conversation, please do not push too much. We can always come back to the topic.