30% of Brits would accept an organ donation but are not donors

Organ donation is often a topic of conversation which is avoided, mainly due to uncomfortable feelings and emotions associated with death. However, the need for organ donors is ever increasing and there are over 6,000 people currently awaiting transplants. Therefore, we thought it was important to examine the nation’s thoughts and feelings around organ donation in conjunction with organ donation week (3rd– 9th September).

Encouragingly, nearly three in five of the adult population (58% of Brits) believe that individuals should be signed up as an organ donor by default when they turn 18. This, of course, falls in line with the upcoming vote by parliament on “Max’s Law”, the government’s new opt-out system for organ donation, which aims to be in place by 2020. It is hoped that this new system will provide a solution to the UK’s shortage in organ donations.

Despite the seemingly high rate of approvals for this new initiative, only two fifths of Brits (41%) are organ donors. The most common reason for not signing up to be a donor is not wanting to think about death (23%) and not liking the thought of organ donation (23%). Furthermore, a fifth of British adults (21%) say they would opt out of organ donation if the law in 2020 was approved with the main reason being they don’t like decisions being made for them (29%).

However, nearly three quarters of respondents (73%) said they would accept an organ donation if illness meant they required a transplant.

When asked about their motivations to become organ donors, the most common reason uncovered behind the act of organ donation is the belief that it is the right thing to do (64%), followed by the desire to help someone (53%).

It would seem that the problem lies in the fact that 18% don’t know what disorders/issues organ donation helps and the general unease around the subject.

Whilst organ donation may seem an uncomfortable subject for many people, we hope this week prompts more frank conversations and humanizes the act of organ donation, reminding us of the intrinsic good of this action and forcing us out of our general apathy.

Read more about this here.