What you can donate
Everyone has a choice as to whether or not they want to become an organ and tissue donor, and, if you agree to donate, you can choose to donate either some or all of your organs and tissue.
If you choose to register to donate your organs on the NHS Organ Donor Register, you have the option to choose to donate some or all of these organs:
- Heart (including heart valves)
- Liver (including liver hepatocyte cells)
- Pancreas (including pancreatic islets)
- Small bowel
When you register to donate your organs, you can also choose to donate your tissue. The most commonly donated tissue are:
- Heart valves
- Parts of the eye, such as the cornea
- Patches of skin are also occasionally donated
Heart valves are included under the heart donation option. There is a separate option on the NHS Organ Donor Register to allow you to choose to donate your eyes.
If you do not register a decision, it will be considered that you agree to donate these commonly donated organs and tissue for transplantation in the event of your death.
Organ and tissue donation
Donating an organ can be a lifesaving action for people on the transplant waiting list and donating tissue can potentially enhance the lives of many people.
A small number of people across the UK have also donated limbs, such as a hand, after their death to transform someone’s life. This type of transplant is very rare and would only go ahead with explicit authorisation, either from the person or from their family, on their behalf.