DONATING organs after death is a form of Christian giving, more than two-thirds of churchgoers told a survey.
The survey was commissioned by Flesh and Blood — a joint initiative between the NHS and Churches in the UK to promote blood and organ donation.
Almost half of churchgoers in the UK — 48 per cent — have already signed up to the Organ Donor Register, significantly more than the national figure of 31 per cent of the general population, and a 12-per-cent rise in the two years since the Flesh and Blood campaign was launched.
On average, three people die every day in the UK while waiting for an organ transplant. As of last month, there were 6943 people waiting on the Active Transplant List, 197 of whom are under 18.
Seventy-three per cent of Anglicans said that they considered blood and organ donation as part of their giving, less than Roman Catholics and members of the United Reformed and Congregational Churches, but significantly more than members of independent churches, of whom 55 per cent considered such donation to be a form of Christian giving.
The research was carried out for Flesh and Blood by Christian Research, which interviewed more than 2000 churchgoers. The figures were released last week to mark National Transplant Week.
The campaign is the first national initiative between the NHS and Churches in the UK. It has seen a 96-per-cent increase in the number of local churches talking about organ donation since 2013: 11 per cent of churchgoers now say that they have heard organ donation’s being promoted from the pulpit.
The assistant director of organ donation and nursing for NHS Blood and Transplant, Anthony Clarkson, said: “It is through partnerships like the Flesh and Blood campaign that we can . . . explain the need for people to talk about organ donation and share their decision with their loved ones.”