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Older people reluctant to donate organs

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More than half of Britons over 55 subscribe to the ‘myth’ that they are too old to donate their organs, research reveals.

NHS Blood and Transplant surveyed over 1,500 people and found that people over 55 were twice as likely than younger people to think that they are too old or ill to become organ donors.

Professor James Neuberger, associate medical director at NHS Blood and Transplant, said that organs are successfully transplanted from people in their 70s and 80s.

He said: “The belief that there is some sort of age limit on becoming an organ donor is a complete myth.”

‘There are also very few illnesses that prevent someone from donating their organs after death - that’s why we would encourage anyone who wants to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register to do so and ensure those close to them are aware of their wishes.’

He added that currently, 10,000 people in the UK need a transplant. However, about 1,000 of these will die before they can receive one - with three people dying everyday.

The UK has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in Western Europe and Spain has the highest.

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