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Almost a third of families block organ donation

Almost a third of families blocked organ donation because they felt the process took ‘too long’.

BBC 5 live found that organs from 505 registered donors in the last five years couldn’t be used because of objections from relatives.

Although consent ultimately lies with the deceased, relatives’ wishes are always respected and this ‘overrides’ the donation.

457 people died last year in England whilst waiting for an organ transplant, reports the BBC.

Ben Cole, a specialist nurse for organ donation working in the Midlands, said: “We understand that families are approached about donation at a very difficult time, and it can come as a shock to find out their relative had made the decision to donate.

“I had one family whose son had joined the Organ Donor Register, but they found it hard to believe because he’d never spoken about it.

“Another family said their dad would have ticked any box, and so weren’t convinced he’d signed up intentionally.

“The relationship we build with a family at this time is so important, particularly as they can provide vital information about their relative before donation.

“If they are strongly opposed to donation, we would not want to upset them further.”

In 2016/17 the total number of deceased donors was 1,413. In the same year, families blocked the donations of 91 people who had signed the register.

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