Organ Donation Law Changes To ‘Opt-Out’
Today is a big day in the transplant world. 20th May 2020. The date that the presumed consent law comes into effect (for the UK) also known as Max and Keira’s Law.
I like a good date. Not a romantic date, although one of those would be nice too, especially considering the current climate. But a date which looks good written down numerically. No doubt there is a name for such people, but I don’t know it, nor can I be bothered to search for it! Today is such a date. Look at it written down! The symmetry – it’s a piece of art. 20-5-20 I once took a photo when my car had done 123,456 miles. I may have broken the law to take the photo by pulling onto the hard shoulder on the A34. To me, it was an emergency though!
Organ Donation Facts
Today is the day that people* will need to opt-out of being on the organ transplant list if they don’t wish for their organs to considered for use after their death.
- Every day someone across the UK dies needing an organ transplant
- You are more likely to need an organ than be in a position to donate one
- Only a small percentage of people die in a position where their organs are able to be used after their death
There are exclusions, rightfully, to this group. They are: people under 18, those who lack the mental capacity to understand the new arrangements and take the necessary action; people who have lived in England for less than 12 months; those who are not living here voluntarily and those who have nominated someone else to make the decision on their behalf.
Did you know?
Fewer than half of families agree to donation going ahead if they are unaware of their loved one’s decision to be a donor. This rises to over 9 out of 10 when the decision to be an organ donor is known (source: NHS Organ Donation).
Ultimately your friends and family have the final say after your death, even with these new changes. It is therefore vital that you tell your loved ones what your views are on organ donation, so they can ensure your wishes are carried out if you were to die. You need to tell them either way so they don’t have to second guess you and possibly go against your wishes. If you take one thing from this post, please get people talking!
Will this change affect me?
The ultimate goal of this change in the law is to stop people dying needlessly whilst waiting for a transplant. At the moment there are far more people who require a transplant than organs available. So currently one person a day dies waiting for an organ. It is very likely this could be me in the not too distant future.
I would love to see an increase in successful transplants as a result of the law change. This would mean the sickest people would have a better chance for a future. At the moment, only a certain percentage of people on the list get their transplants. The other option is death. So I’m hopefully that I will get a transplant, that it is a success and I can live a little more than I do at the moment.
There are so many other variables that affect how long one may have to wait for a transplant: Your current health, blood group, height, weight, age ethnicity, the organ/s you need. Lung transplant waiting lists are getting longer compared to the other organ waiting lists. Sadly at the moment, because of the Covid-19 crisis, my centre is not undertaking transplants and transplants are postponed currently.
What Can I Do?
Talk to your families and friends. Share your wishes (either way) and learn theirs.
Visit the NHS Organ Donation website. There are some really interesting resources and stories on there.
Watch this video below, which explains things in a nice, succinct way. Take a look…