Older people’s organs can still save lives | Letters

Re Jeanne Felmingham’s letter (14 November), too many people mistakenly assume their age means they are too old to consider organ donation. However, people in their 50s, 60, 70s and even 80s can all save lives. Nearly 1,000 people aged over 50 donate every year.

Patients who die in circumstances where they may be able to donate their organs, irrespective of age, are considered individually. Clinical teams assess whether or not someone’s organs can be safely used to help others, reviewing information from the person’s medical and life history and talking to the next of kin.

Many more lives could be saved if people in these age groups join the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell their families they want to donate. It only takes two minutes to sign up, by visiting
Anthony Clarkson
Interim director – organ donation and transplantation, NHS Blood and Transplant

My dearest chum Jeff Teare passed away this summer at the age of 67 (Other lives, 24 October). Despite the fact that his liver had been distinctly well-used over the years, with copious consumption of red wine, it was not turned down by NHS Blood and Transplant, and now a young mum is able to run after and cuddle her three-year-old child, which she hadn’t been able to do before. Two other people also received a kidney each which I hope will prolong their lives. It’s never to late to donate.
Sue Cartlidge
Crickhowell, Powys

Jeanne Felmingham obviously has a good functioning brain to get her letter published in the Guardian. She could donate her brain to science or arrange for all her body to go to a local medical school, where the students will find out whether all her bits were still in good condition.
Ron Brewer
Old Buckenham, Norfolk

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