I wrote an article in December 2013 promoting organ donation as I approached a major milestone in my life. I was lucky enough to receive a kidney transplant in January 1994. Since then I have never failed to use every opportunity to try and raise awareness of the need for all of us to consider organ donation.
I read recently about the Scottish Government rejecting Anne McTaggart’s Transplantation Bill by 59 votes to 56 (though it seems now that the bill will be reconsidered). The changes would mean everyone would be eligible for donation of their organs but could opt out by signing a form stating their intention.
Unless this choice has been made prior to death the ultimate decision falls on the family to decide if organs can be donated. The current donor system allows for people to carry a card stating their wishes on death but some cases in accidental or sudden death require permissions. This increases the need for more donors and thankfully live donations are becoming more prevalent and successful due to research and development.
The opt-out system has been adopted in Wales recently but plans for the change all over the UK have been discussed for some time.
There are at this moment over 7000 people with life-threatening diseases on the Transplant Waiting List across the UK. In common with other serious illnesses most of us will, or know someone who will, be affected by the need for organ donation of all usable organs at some point.
There may be some altruistic reason and influenced thought involved in my thinking and use of this site to express a personal view. Any reader would have no hesitation in guessing where my thoughts lie but after what is now 22 years of a healthier and successful life for that time. I would ask that any family faced with this question to consider at, delicate and sad times, very carefully which decision to make.
I personally consider that the gift of life I received changed my perception and outlook on life and will be eternally grateful to my donor and his family.