Talking to your family
Your doctor will check which choice you have registered in the Donor Register.
If you have entered 'yes', indicating that you want to become a donor, your family will be informed of this in a conversation with the doctor.
If the choice you have entered is that ‘someone else should decide’, the doctor will ask that person whether you can become a donor.
If you have entered ‘no’, you will not become a donor.
If the register says 'No objection to donation', your family will be informed of this. The doctor will never remove organs or tissues from your body without talking to your family first. There are rules regarding this, which doctors are required to follow.
The conversation between the doctor and your family
After that, the doctor will inform your family of your choice. Family members may be your parents, children and brothers or sisters, for example. If you have chosen to become a donor, the doctor will explain this, and what the next steps are. This is called the donation meeting. Your family can ask the doctor any questions they may have. It is possible that your family feels certain that the choice registered for you is incorrect. In that case, they need to be able to explain to the doctor why you did not want to be a donor. The doctor may then decide with your family that you will not become a donor.
What if there are no family members?
Sometimes there are no family members who the doctor can discuss things with. In that case, the doctor will notify someone who played a major role in the patient's life. That may be a friend or a caregiver. If the doctor cannot speak to anyone, the donation will not go ahead. This may happen if the doctor cannot manage to contact anyone, for example.
People who are unable to give their legal consent
Before 1 July 2020, people who were unable to give their legal consent were not included in the register. This means that a person who was unable to give their legal consent could not previously become a donor, unless a person had made a choice earlier in his or her life.
Also people who are unable to give their legal consent will now be included in the register. However, other rules apply when talking about donation of people who are unable to give their legal consent.