Gift of Hope
I could not help but be moved by the courageous decision of Emma and Drew Lee, to allow their daughter Hope to become one of Britain's youngest organ donors.
Hope only lived for 74 minutes after her birth, but she achieved more than many of us will achieve in a lifetime.
Her parents found out during the pregnancy that she would have a short lifespan and made the decision to donate her organs. It was a decision her father said that if they had not planned it in advance, they might not have been able to go through with after she was born.
As someone who specialises in Wills and administering estates, I see how vital it is to think about what you would like to happen to your body after your death and to let your family know. If you would like your body to be used, for either organ transplantation; or for medical education, training or research – the two are quite different - these wishes can be included in your Will.
You can also record your decision about donating your organs with the NHS Organ Donor Register it takes only a couple of minutes to complete. It allows you to say whether you wish to donate all of your organs, some of your organs, or none of your organs. It also allows you to nominate a representative to make this decision on your behalf.
In England and Northern Ireland, if you want to consent to organ donation it is necessary to "opt in". In Wales, you are deemed to have consented to organ donation unless you "opt out".
Donating your body to a medical school for medical education, training or research can help scientists understand how different diseases start and develop new treatments. If you are interested in donating your body in this way, you will need to contact a medical school for further information and a consent form. To find your local medical school visit the HTA website here.
If you want to give hope to others, make sure you register to donate your body, include your wishes in your Will and let your family know. It is important to let those close to you know your wishes in case the Will is not looked at for a few days.
For further information on creating or updating your Will, please contact Alison Craggs or your usual Blake Morgan adviser.