Edinburgh University students strip for organ appeal

University of Edinburgh medical students have bared almost all as part of a drive to get more people on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Student Gideon Haffenden. Picture: University of Edinburgh.

The first year students are involved in a seven-week campaign to raise awareness of organ donation in a bid to increase sign up rates amongst their peers – and stripped off on Arthur’s Seat and at the University to highlight that people of any age can be an organ donor.

The team have taken the ‘We Need Everybody’ message to fellow students through awareness raising activities including lecture announcements, information events and a social media campaign.

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Latest figures highlight there are around 540 people in Scotland waiting on a life-saving transplant1. People in need of a transplant can spend years on the waiting list, enduring debilitating breathlessness, lethargy, and long periods of dialysis and hospitalisation.

Lucy Sapwell. Picture: University of Edinburgh.

Increasing registrations is vital, as less than one per cent of deaths in Scotland happen in circumstances where the person is actually able to donate their organs2.

Currently, 44 per cent of the population in Scotland is on the NHS Organ Donor Register3 – however the more people that join, the more lives that can be saved.

Emily Park, medical student, commented:

“As medical students, we know the importance of organ donation. One decision can quite literally transform a life.

Bee Hull, Jonny Owen and Emily Park. Picture: Edinburgh University

“Understandably, not many young people think about death. But through this campaign, we want to prompt people to have a think about what their wishes would be and encourage them not to put off joining. It takes just two minutes, and once it’s done, people can get on with life.

“Our aim is to increase awareness by 20 per cent over the course of our campaign, and we’ve been impressed with the support shown so far. We really do need everybody to get on board, and help those waiting.”

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, visit weneedeverybody.org

Lucy Sapwell. Picture: University of Edinburgh.
Bee Hull, Jonny Owen and Emily Park. Picture: Edinburgh University