This site is intended for health professionals only

60% not discussing organ donation

Around 60% of people are not discussing organ donation with their friends and family, a survey has found.

The study found that the subject is ignored by almost a third (30%) of Britons because it is not considered a priority, while 25% simply do not want to think about it.

But with three people dying every day before a donor is found and around 8,000 people currently on the transplant waiting list, the UK's organ donation organisation, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), is encouraging people not to ignore the issue any more.

Currently, only 28% of the UK population is on the NHS Organ Donor Register, a spokeswoman said.

Professor Geoff Beattie, Head of School and Dean of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester, said: "The figures released by NHSBT show again that the UK public is reserved when it comes to opening up about their feelings.

"Organ donation is a tricky subject to talk about so many people choose to ignore it rather than face the reality.

"But talking about subjects like organ donation with your friends and family is hugely important, especially as any of us could be forced to make that difficult decision for our loved ones - you'll want to know their wishes," he said

Copyright © Press Association 2010