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09 July 2013

Christians 'more generous' in organ donation

Christians 'more generous' in organ donation

by Seb Turner

Around 1,000 lives are tragically lost each year in the UK with the victim in need of an organ transplant. Yet only 31 per cent of the population have joined the NHS donor register.

However, despite this sad statistic 48 per cent of Christians surveyed say they have signed up. This new research is part of the fleshandblood campaign and has come at the start of National Transplant Week. It suggests that Christians in the UK are more willing to donate organs than the average person.

The new research coincides with the Church of England general synod meeting in York this week, a meeting that saw Dr Paul Murphy, national clinical lead for organ donation for NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) meet the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and one of the leading

advocates for the fleshandbloodcampaign, the Rt Revd James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle. They discussed with other representatives of the synod ways that the UK Church can continue to support NHSBT and their goal to increase blood and organ donors worldwide. Ultimately this will save lives and should eradicate the prospect of death due to lack of donors.

This was clearly seen as a significant issue when Dr Murphy said: "There continues to be a great need for people throughout the UK to register to donate blood and organs."

The fleshandblood campaign is the first time the NHS has worked alongside the Church in a national initiative. It signifies unity between the church and the healthcare system, and is a perfect example of Christian giving. It is in association with a large range of denominations, organisations and festivals including the Church of England, The Salvation Army, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church, Baptist Union, Church In Wales, Hope and the Evangelical Alliance.

Many people die each year because there is no donor there for them but this special campaign is on its way to equipping churches and individuals as advocates for blood and organ donation. The idea is that this will raise awareness about donating blood and organs, saving thousands of lives every single year.

Find out more about National Transplant Week and the fleshandbloodcampaign.