Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

MP backs 'Tell Your Loved Ones Your Wishes' Campaign

Published: 9 December, 2014

Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew has encouraged people to get involved in the Organ Donation Family Discussion Day on 11th December. In its first year, it is intended to persuade families from across the North to sit down with their loved ones and discuss their views on organ donation.

Speaking ahead of the Family Discussion Day, Michelle Gildernew says,

"When people come to the decision to donate organs, they give in the most selfless way the gift of improved health and longer life. Their donation will transform the lives of those who receive their organs, creating a legacy which will have immeasurable positive effects.

"Research has shown that families who are aware of their loved ones wishes are more likely to donate their organs should the situation arise. Organ donation will only proceed if a person's family or loved ones consent to it. This is the case whether they are on the organ donor register or not.

"This campaign is targeted at bringing about behavioral change and encouraging people to sit down together and have the conversation in the run up to Christmas, which is a traditional time for families to come together."

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP continues,

"In the North almost 200 people are currently waiting for a transplant and sadly the chance will come too late for many, with 15 people each year dying while on the waiting list.

"I fully support this campaign to raise awareness and to encourage discussions about organ donation. This is not a campaign to change people's wishes but simply to initiate conversations. By listening and respecting the wishes of your loved ones whenever the time arrives you will be better placed to do what they want.

"I encourage everyone to think seriously about the life changing benefits that organ donation brings and make families aware of their willingness to donate. If you don't discuss it they may never know." ENDS