This week parliament is debating the way our organ donor registry works. Currently anyone who is willing to donate their organs upon death, must opt in by visiting your GP or applying on the organ donor website. Families can also give consent on death.
However many believe we should have an opt out system. This would be where it would be assumed you are willing to donate your organs unless you told your GP or your family of your refusal.
I agree that we should have an opt out system. I joined the organ donor register when I was 18 and my family are aware that they are to donate my organs to help save someone's life. However many people do not join the register, not because they refuse to donate their organs, but because they haven't considered it or got around to doing it.
Our death is not something we like to discuss with our loves ones and as a result many of us are not aware of what our loved ones would want.
According to the NHS, one of the biggest reasons for low levels of organ donation is that families are not always aware of their loves ones wishes. The Potential Donor Audit claims that 91% of families will donate organs if their loved ones are on the organ donor register whereas if they are not, only 53% of family are willing to donate. As a result we have one of the lowest levels of consent in Europe.
In 2015 Wales introduced this opt out system and they have found the number of transplants has risen by around 1/3. Just think about how many lives this has saved.
I do hope that we decide to change the system as so many people are in need of transplants and every donor can save the lives of up to 8 people. Have you considered whether you want your organs donated?