Maurice Smith, who chairs our Organ Donation Committee, has encouraged those who want to donate their organs to ensure their family is aware of their wishes.
Maurice, a consultant geriatrician at our Trust, spoke out as we marked the national Organ Donation Week (2 to 8 September).
He said: “By donating your organs you can help, and potentially save the lives of, between one to nine people. It’s not just the main organs you can donate; you can also give your corneas, skin and bone too.
“A timely transplant can give extremely poorly patients their lives back – it can ease their suffering and they can get back to work and be with their families.
“If you do want to donate your organs when you die, the best thing you can do, whether you’re on the register or not, is tell your family. That will make it so much easier for them at the end, to know it’s what you wanted.”
If you’d like to know about organ donation, make sure you pop along to see our team on their information stall at Queen’s Hospital on Friday 6 September.
Maurice added that the main issue when it comes to organ donation is gaining consent from families, especially in cases where they’re not sure whether it’s what their loved one wanted.
He also welcomed new legislation, which will come into force next spring, whereby people will need to opt out of being an organ donor, rather than opting in via the organ donation register.
Maurice, who has chaired our Organ Donation Committee for the last five years, added:
“The most important thing we can do is raise awareness of the positive impact of organ donation.”
He first became interested in organ donation when, as a trainee doctor in Liverpool almost 40 years ago, he worked with patients with chronic renal failure, quickly realising that organ transplants were much more the answer for them than dialysis.
Maurice is pictured above (far right) with colleagues on our Organ Donation Week information stall.
Read more about Maurice, and his career at our Trust, in his In Conversation With interview.