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Organ donation campaign goes viral as vital "Respect My Dying Wish" message reaches across the globe

November 05, 2012 10:47 AM

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A campaign launched only four weeks ago to urge people to tell their loved ones about their decision to donate and to ask for their dying wish to be respected has gone viral and received cross-party support from Scottish parliamentarians.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Respect My Dying Wish campaign has already reached more than 100,000 people across the globe and amassed more than 500 friends on facebook.

This week alone new followers have joined the campaign from more than 20 countries including Scotland, England, USA, Japan and Australia.

Forty Scottish MSPs have also backed a motion by Kenny Gibson MSP applauding the Respect My Dying Wish campaign and the campaign received plaudits from high profile MSPs Patricia Ferguson, Malcolm Chisholm, Stewart Stevenson and Kenny Gibson in a parliamentary debate on organ donation this week.

Every year in Scotland, 15% of potential organ donors are lost because their loved ones refuse their dying wish.

Last year in Scotland 43 people died while awaiting a transplant. All 43 might have had an extra chance of life if the wishes of just five people who had signed the organ donation register hadn’t been overturned by their family. For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]


NOTES TO EDITOR

HOW TO TAKE PART IN THE CAMPAIGN
There are lots of ways to take part and support the campaign. These include: like and visit the campaign facebook page; update your status to tell everyone you're an organ donor; add a Respect My Dying Wish timeline cover to your page and 'add' that you've joined the NHS organ and tissue donor register to your timeline.
People can also follow the campaign on twitter and retweet and quote campaign tweets to their own followers.

There’s also an option to add a Twibbon to your profile picture on Facebook and or Twitter – a badge which shows you support the campaign. Twitter will automatically tweet to let your followers know about you supporting the Respect My Dying Wish Campaign.

People can also create their own digital donor message card that can be sent to friends and family via email, twitter or Facebook.

There’s also a YouTube channel and people can comment on, or share, what they see.

Visit the campaign website at www.respectmydyingwish.org.uk

All too often, families are so distraught that they will not give permission even though the deceased had agreed to be a donor.

Respect My Dying Wish has been launched to get people talking to their loved ones about their wishes to donate so that should the worst happen their dying wish is respected and relatives are in doubt as to what their loved ones organ donation wishes are.

Professor Kevin Rooney, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, is one of the clinicians leading the campaign. He said: "We set out to encourage Scots – in particular young Scots – to talk about the taboo subject of death and organ donation and ultimately the gift of life. The reaction to our campaign has been overwhelming. Following the launch in Lourdes Secondary school in Glasgow the social media platforms of Facebook and Twitter have been buzzing with comment and debate.

"Our website has had more than 2,500 individual visitors and our Facebook page has cascaded the campaign message to more than 100,000 already. The debate in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday led to high powered endorsements from senior MSPs and the short and moving film clips we have created for YouTube are proving very popular too.

"I think this campaign is capturing the imaginations and support of both the young and old across Scotland and beyond. Comments are coming in from people in England, the United States and various European countries as well."

ENDS

 

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