Why not become an organ donor?

It goes without saying that almost everyone would be willing to receive an organ transplant if they needed one.

But what is surprising that only around 40 per cent of us living in Scotland have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Thanks to this miracle of modern medicine, around 3000 people gain a new lease of life every year in the UK.

Over the years, more kinds of transplants have become possible. As well as kidneys, transplants are regularly carried out on the heart, liver, lungs, pancreas and small bowel.

As well as this, tissues such as eyes, heart valves, skin, bone and tendons can also be donated and transplants.

While the number of transplants have increased, transplants depend on the generosity of donors and their families. As a result there is a serious shortage of donor organs.

In Scotland, anyone over the age of 12 can register to become an organ donor but it is crucial that you discuss your decision with your family. In some cases people in their 70s and 80s can become donors.

By putting your name on the NHS Organ Donor Register, you are making sure your wishes will be carried out.

For further information on becoming an organ donor, and an in-depth question and answer section, go to www.organdonationscotland.org