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Talk to your family this Organ Donation Week

23 September 2021

Our health equalities programme manager, Neerja Jain, explains why Kidney Research UK is encouraging families from all communities to talk about organ donation.

This Organ Donation Week, we’re encouraging families to talk about organ donation. Whilst great strides have been made in England, Scotland and Wales with new legislation, at the end of the day, what your family knows about your wishes regarding organ donation really does matter.

Death is not an easy subject and some families might find it harder than others to have the conversation.

Statistics from NHSBT’s Black and Asian Transplant Activity Report show there is still disparity in how different communities discuss and respond to organ donation.

statistics about organ donation in black and ethnic minority groups

We know people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are at a higher risk of kidney disease and are more likely to need a transplant.

The good news is more people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities have opted into the organ donation register in the last five years.

In 2016 6.8% of people opting in on the register were from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. In 2020 this rose to 9.2%.

But statistics also show that when their loved ones pass away, fewer families from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities consent to their organs being donated. We know that around 39.5% of black, Asian and minority ethnic families consent to donation, compared with 70% of white families.

If you know what your organ donation wishes are in the event of your death, it’s really important to have the conversation with your family so they know too.

If you do one thing this week, have a cup of tea and a chat with your loved ones.

#LeaveThemCertain #OrganDonationWeek

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