A CAMPAIGN is continuing to encourage more people to join the organ donor register.
Just 31% of the Northern Ireland population have already registered despite a public attitudes survey finding that 84% support the concept.
The Speak up and Save a Life campaign, which is an initiative of the Public Health Agency (P.H.A.), is urging potential donors to come forward.
A survey carried out by the P.H.A. last year found that a majority of people would take an organ if they needed one.
Around 200 people are currently on the transplant waiting list in Northern Ireland but as many as 15 people die each year before an organ can be found to save them.
Dr. Eddie Rooney is chief executive of the P.H.A. and chair of the Northern Ireland Committee for Organ Donation. Speaking at the launch of the recent campaign, he said: “Organ donation really is the gift of life. The generosity of donors and their families enhances or saves the lives of recipients across Northern Ireland.”
He added: “We want to increase awareness of the organ donor register and how to sign up and we also want to encourage people to talk about organ donation with family and close friends so they are aware of their wishes.”
A new website was set up (see below) to offer a wide range of information.
The fact that so few people have already signed-up to the organ donor register has led some to call for a statutory opt-out to be introduced. This would mean that everyone would be considered as donors unless they asked for their names to be removed from the register.
Joining the donor organ register could not be easier. Register online or you can download a form to complete you registration by post. If you want to talk to someone about joining then contact the NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 23 33. This service is available 24 hours a day.
Visit the Northern Ireland Organ Donation website.
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