During Organ Donation Week (Monday 20 to Sunday 26 September) members of the Teesside BAME community are being urged to discuss their decision about organ donation with their loved ones.
People from black and Asian communities are more likely to need a transplant and organ transplants within ethnic groups are often more successful. However, donations are less common so people often wait longer for an organ. Sadly, too many die while waiting.
Family members are asked for permission before an organ donation takes place and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is backing the NHS Blood and Transplant’s ‘Leave Them Certain’ campaign which aims for everyone to discuss organ donation.
Dr Tara Mane, Trust clinical lead for organ donation, said: “As both a doctor and an Asian woman, I understand both sides of this issue.
“Organ donation is not prohibited by many religions and I can assure everyone that organ donors are treated with the upmost respect.
“It’s sad but too many black and Asian people are needlessly dying while they wait for an organ.
“Please discuss your decision about organ donation with your loved one and family and convey your wishes. Please leave them certain.”
To help get this vital message out to the BAME community Tara has recorded a short video appeal which North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will share on social media throughout Organ Donation Week. The video can also can be viewed on YouTube.
One organ donor can save up to nine lives and a further 40 can live healthier lives through tissue donation.
The NHS Organ Donation website has further information about issues around ethnicity and organ donation.
To find out more and register your decision, visit the NHS Organ Donor Register and share your decision with your family. Users of the NHS app, can also use this to record, check or amend their details or decision.