80% of people would donate organs

Eight out of 10 people want to donate their organs but only half have discussed the issue with their family, it has emerged.

Research commissioned by the HSE Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland (ODTI) found that more than a third of people (36%) carry an organ donor card — a 12-point increase since 2003.

The study of public support for organ donation in Ireland in February last year found that 44% of those who said they would donate their organs carry an organ donor card.

It shows that 81% of people are willing to donate their organs, a 17% increase since 2009. However, most (92%) would be happy to receive an organ.

An increased willingness to donate extends to the organs of close family members — 85% said they would agree to donate organs from a deceased close relative, if asked in a hospital, compared to 58% in 2009.

While only half those who participated in the Ipsos MRBI survey had discussed organ donation or transplantation with their family, just 40% had talked about it in 2009.

Those aged 25 to 44 (57%), those who were better off (61%) and college graduates (58%) were most likely to have discussed organ donation.

Of those unwilling to donate, almost a third (31%) were unable to give a reason. However, scared of manipulation of the human body (14%) and distrust of the system (11%) were the two main reasons given.

Just under a third of people (31%) knew someone who had benefitted from an organ donation, compared to 25% in 2003. Almost three quarters (73%) felt they were well informed about organ donation.

The survey was included in the ODTI 2015 annual report, published yesterday.


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