Organ and tissue donation

Organ and tissue donation is the gift of an organ and/or tissue to help someone who needs a transplant.

Organ and tissue transplants can save or improve lives across Scotland. However, only 1% of people die in a way that makes organ donation possible. This means every opportunity for donation is precious.

Organ and tissue donation in Scotland

Scotland has a system of 'deemed authorisation' for organ and tissue donation. This is often referred to as an 'opt out' system.

This means that if you haven't opted out of donation when you die, the system allows for the donation of certain organs and tissue for transplantation. This only applies if you're 16 or over.

The system doesn't apply to particular groups. It also doesn't apply if it would be against your views.

Further information about organ and tissue donation in Scotland.

Registering your choice

Organ and tissue donation is a personal choice.

If you support donation, you can record your decision to be a donor or you can choose to opt out.

Whatever you decide you should record it on the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell your family and friends.

Your family's role

Families play a key role in organ and tissue donation. They'll be asked about your views if you die in a situation where donation is possible. This ensures that donation doesn't go ahead unless you would have wanted it to.

So, whatever your decision, it’s important your family know what you want. This will make it easier for them to honour your decision.

For further information visit the Organ Donation Scotland website.

Last updated:
28 April 2022

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