In Organ Donation Week, it’s heartening to see that the number of people consenting to have their organs used after their death is at its highest-ever level. There were almost 22.5 million registrants on the donor register as of 31 March – up 6.6% on the previous year.
While the majority of those registered have given consent for all their organs and tissues to be donated, one in eight are restricted donors – people who have registered, but state that they don’t want to donate specific body parts.
If you are squeamish about giving up your eyes even in death, you are not alone. NHS figures show that the vast majority of those who opt out – almost 90% of those who choose not to donate, and 10.7% of the whole register – do so because they don’t want to give their corneas.
There is a shortage of cornea donors in the UK. In the year to 31 March 2015, almost 3,780 cornea transplants were recorded on the UK transplant registry. However, while the NHS would require an average of 10 donations a day to meet demand, it only receives on average seven viable donations per day.
Among the restricted donors, a much smaller proportion opted out of donating their heart, pancreas, lungs, liver or kidneys.
Although people of all ages are eligible for organ donor registration, the highest proportion of donors are in their late teens and 20s: people aged between 16 and 30 make up 43% of the current register.
While a higher proportion of women aged between 16 and 30 are registered than men in the same age category, the reverse is the case in the older age groups.
All the figures cited here exclude the 177,204 people in the UK who have specifically asked not to become an organ donor when they die.
News Source TheGuardianNews