Make time to talk about your organ donation decision this Christmas
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 December 2019
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As families gather to celebrate Christmas, NHS Blood and Transplant is urging everyone to take the time to consider and talk about their organ donation decision.
From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups.
The campaign aims to motivate people across England to "Pass It On", whether that's by making the decision to pass on their organs to save lives, passing on their decision to family and friends or passing on information about the law change to other people.
The new TV advert also aims to reach people and boost conversations about organ donation.
One family who know the importance of having the conversation, are the family of 18-year-old Billy Gradwell-Smith, who died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage in December 2016, while at home from university for the Christmas holidays.
Billy's father, Trevor explains: "When we were told Billy wasn't going to make it, we already knew he wanted to donate his organs.
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"He was a fantastic, positive kid and had made sure to tell the family after signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register while applying for his provisional driving licence.
"He started a discussion with the three of us and we sat around and talked about it.
"By making his decision clear, he made a difficult situation easier for us, and ensured he didn't miss the opportunity to save lives."
Once the new system is introduced across England, families will still be involved before any organ or tissue donation goes ahead and Specialist Nurses for Organ Donation will continue to speak with families about their loved one's decision.
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "We want everyone to know the law around organ donation is changing, to understand how it is changing and the choices available to them.
"We want them to make their organ donation decision and whatever that decision is, to share it with their family. A time like Christmas, when families come together, is a good opportunity to do this. Every precious organ donor allows more families to spend special times together."
To find out more, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 303 2094.