Many families have gained comfort through the gift of donation which can give hope to others. This can be difficult to think about, but many families have appreciated being given the opportunity to consider this option.

Organ donation will only be considered when death is inevitable, and organs will not be taken without discussion with relatives, even when the person carried a donor card. The decision always rests with the family.

For organ donation to be possible, two independent doctors will have had to carry out tests to confirm brain stem death. When this has been established and if the family decide to go ahead, detailed discussions with a transplant coordinator will take place.

Following transplant operations, information about recipients can be made available to the donor’s family. Many families have said that this has been a great comfort and help to them.

The option of donation after death extends beyond organ donation. Tissue such as corneas, skin, bone and heart valves can be donated within a short time after death.