Organ donor cards for humanists expected to boost organ donation rates

14 December, 2018

The introduction of the first NHS organ donor cards for humanists is expected to boost organ donation rates across England.

Humanists UK has welcomed the introduction of the religion and humanist-specific donor cards after being the group representing non-religious people in the NHS’s organ donation consultation. The cards have been introduced alongside information about humanist beliefs on organ donation.

Religion and belief is a crucial aspect to many potential donors. For non-religious people like humanists, reason, experience, and evidence shape their beliefs – not faith or a belief in god.

Humanists do not believe in a continued existence of the self after death or place an additional spiritual value upon the body, and as such they do not generally object to allowing their organs to be used to help others after death.

Most humanists would consider that we have a moral responsibility to allow our organs to be used for transplantation, if that will help save lives and improve the quality of life for others.

Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson said ‘Humanists have always been at the forefront of promoting a rational, evidence-based approach to ethical issues in public policy and this includes addressing the shortage of organs available for donation.

‘To be able to save another life through the gift of organ donation is a special legacy and as non-religious people who don’t believe in an afterlife, most humanists believe in allowing their organs to be used to save another’s life.

‘We hope these cards will break down the barriers about organ donation and we encourage people to download the cards and express their views to their family members and loved ones.’

The donor cards are part of a suite of moves to boost organ donation rates. The NHS also this week introduced a faith and belief declaration on the registration form for the NHS Organ Donation Register.

Currently 6140 people are waiting for a transplant in the UK and 2699 people have received a transplant since April 2018.

To download the humanist card, visit


For more information, contact Humanists UK press manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at or phone 020 7324 3078.

For more information on Humanists UK’s campaign work on organ donation, visit

Read more about out campaign work on public ethical issues at

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.