Over three quarters of people in England say they would support changing the law for organ donation

21 February 2018        

Category: Survival and support

We are urging people to ask their local MP to attend parliament this Friday to vote in favour of an ‘opt-out’ organ donation system.

Person holding organ donor sign 

Almost three quarters of people in England are in favour of an ‘opt-out’ organ donation system - where people are registered as a donor, unless they state otherwise - rather than the current ‘opt-in’ law, according to new figures. 

Lack of public awareness

In a poll of over 2,000 people we found that, out of those who would not support a change in the law, four in ten were put off by concerns that they would not be able to opt out, or that it would be difficult to do so. This highlights a lack of public awareness and confusion about the proposed new system which would allow any person opposed to donating their organs to opt out.

Write to your local MP

This Friday, MPs have the opportunity to make history by voting in favour of a new Bill that will introduce an ‘opt-out’ system in England, potentially saving thousands of lives. Members of the public are being urged to write to their local MP, to encourage them to attend the debate.

Number of people on waiting list underestimated

The figures also indicate a lack of awareness around the urgency of organ donation, with nearly two-thirds of people underestimating the number of people on the organ transplant list in the UK (which last year peaked at 6,388) and over one third underestimating the number of people who died last year whilst on the waiting list for an organ - a total of 457 people.

It was also revealed that over two-fifths of people are not aware of their families wishes when it comes to organ donation, with nearly half saying they simply hadn’t thought about having this conversation and over a quarter saying it was too awkward or sad to bring up.

Simon Gillespie, our Chief Executive, said: “There is a desperate shortage of organs in the UK and introducing an opt-out system in England will better reflect the views of the general public and give hope to those currently waiting for a transplant they so desperately need.

“We are urging everyone to encourage their local MP to attend parliament this Friday to debate a Bill that could save lives.”