About organ donation
The gift of life through organ donation saves lives. It is often the best and sometimes only treatment available for those who suffer disease or failure of a major organ.
Many patients both old and young receive life-changing transplants each year. This gift however is dependant on the generosity of donors and their families who are willing to consider donation of organs and tissues.
Aims of the Organ Donation Committee
The Organ Donation Committee is formed from a core group of individuals at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) who work closely with many of the hospital services, ensuring that strategies and resources are in place to ensure that donation can occur in a streamlined manner.
We ensure that there are robust policies in place and that we maintain best practice alongside national guidance in all aspects of end of life and donation practices.
We believe that all families should have the opportunity to be involved in decision making around donation and other end of life issues and we strive to ensure these choices are given to families in a timely manner.
The committee also works to promote knowledge and awareness of donation and its benefits throughout the hospital and the wider community.
Meet Summer and Ella, two teenagers who received organ donations at GOSH. This film also features teens discussing some of the key issues and concerns that people their age may have about registering their decision.
Dr Joe Brierley
Clinical Lead, Organ Donation
Dr Brierley co-authored an article in the journal Acta Paediatrica calling for changes to the current organ donation process and can also be heard on BBC Radio 4's Women Hour talking about why he thinks the issue of organ donation should be added to the National Curriculum.
Specialist Nurse, Organ Donation
Donation Committee Chair
Share your wishes
Max and Keira’s Law – the new law relating to organ and tissue donation in England – came into effect on 20 May 2020 and saw England change to an opt out system. This means that people in England will now be considered as willing to donate, unless they have opted out, are in one of the excluded groups or have told their family they don’t want to donate.
Young people under the age of 18 are excluded from Max and Keira's law.
Families will continue to be consulted before organ donation goes ahead. It is therefore still important to ensure your relatives know what you would want to happen if organ donation becomes a possibility.
- The NHS Blood and Transplant website also has information on tissue donation. You can also find more information on the Human Tissue Authority website.
- The NHS Blood and Transplant team have also produced information on eye donation (PDF) and kidney donation (PDF).
The Scottish Government has an organ donation teaching resource pack available.
- The Donor Family Network is a support group run by donor families for donor families.
- Give and Let Live is an educational resource from NHS Blood and Transplant and aims to provide students aged 14 or over with the knowledge and understanding of key issues relating to donation.