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What’s your decision?

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By Fiona Reid
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What's your decision?

NEW figures released to coincide with Organ and Tissue Donation Week reveal half of people in Dumfries and Galloway have now registered their donation decision.

As the Week marks the six-month anniversary of Scotland’s move to an opt out system of organ and tissue donation, 47.8 per cent of people in the region have recorded a decision to be a donor, with three per cent choosing to opt out.

The opt out system was introduced on 26 March 2021 to save and improve lives, meaning that if people aged 16 and over haven’t opted out of donation, they will be considered a possible donor if they die in circumstances in which they could donate.

Under the opt out system everyone has a choice – to be a donor, or opt out of donation – but it’s important to make that decision known.

If people choose to do nothing, it will be assumed they have agreed to donate certain organs and tissue for transplantation, unless they’re in a group for whom the law doesn’t apply.

In Scotland, there are an average of around 500 people waiting on an organ transplant, however only around one per cent of people die in a way that makes organ donation possible.

Dr Willis Peel from NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: “It’s encouraging to see the number of people in the area who have recorded their donation decision. Organ and tissue donation remains a personal choice, but it’s important to make your decision known.

“You can record your decision at any time on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Sharing that decision with family is also important, as having that knowledge can make it easier for them to honour it.”

Minister for Public Health Maree Todd added: “I’d like to thank those who took time to make their decision known this year, following Scotland’s move to an opt out system.

“We have made tremendous progress in increasing donation and transplantation rates in Scotland over the last decade, with the move to opt out part of a package of measures to reduce the number of people in Scotland waiting for a transplant at any one time.”

  • For more about the law change, and to record your donation decision, visit organdonationscotland.org or call 0300 123 23 23.

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