Organ and Tissue donation is a philanthropic act of giving to assist others after one has passed.
The law states that Next of Kin must sign consent once the donor has passed away.
Next of Kin is defined as close blood relatives – spouses, parents and children. As far as life partners are concerned: Common law recognizes anyone who has been in a relationship and lived together for longer than 18 months as a legal spouse.
As the Next of Kin you would need to make a decision in the early grieving process to sign consent, through your pain and despair to offer a new window of hope for up to 60 others.
It is crucial in the case of skin/tissue donors that Next of Kin understand the short windows for tissue retrieval and exercise their power to fulfill their loves ones wishes by making the call early to CTE.
Windows For Viable Tissue Retrieval
We have suggested that the next of kin notify CTE within 12 hours of their loved ones passing, in order to make sure their loved ones wishes are followed through and their tissue can be retrieved early enough to be viable.
We suggest next of kin phone through even if they miss the 12 hour window as certain tissue have longer windows for retrieval.
These are the windows for viable tissue retrieval after death
Cornea- within 12 hours
Skin – within 24 hours
Heart valves – within 24-36 hours
Bone – up to 4-5 days
Whist we understand that making the call so soon after losing a loved will be an extremely difficult one, we believe that this can be alleviated by the next of kin being informed of the donors wishes, and understanding that by following their loved ones wishes, 60 others will benefit from their legacy.