In a months time, we will find out the results of a Welsh government consultation into the presumed consent of organ donation. This will mean that, in Wales, rather than having to opt-in to organ donation, you would have to follow the opt-out procedure for your organs not to be donated in the event of death. If passed, the new system will go into place for 2015, after a public information campaign.
What a great idea!
It seems to me that most people don’t have a strong opinion on organ donation, or don’t declare to their loved ones their opinions. This leaves the families in the predicament of deciding the fate of the organs, on top of the emotional trauma of losing a family member. No easy position for anyone to be in. I don’t blame the parents or partners who struggle with such a big decision. I think the potential new system will allow the wishes of the deceased to be respected.
If someone feels that strongly about not having their organs donated, they will take the extra time to opt-out of it. The opt-out system means that those who have little opinion, or don’t care strongly enough to opt-in, will have their organs put to good use. The system will also detract from the decision of the grieving family members, although according to the BBC “Health Minister Lesley Griffiths has said she cannot a imagine a situation where doctors would act without a family’s permission.” Clearly the family will still has some control if they feel they wish to stop donation.
My positive opinion on this may surprise some people. I regularly get called ‘tight’ and sometimes even ‘selfish’, yet I agree so strongly with donating organs. There’s a few reasons for this. Quite simply, once you are dead, you no longer need your organs. That may sound crude but the way I see it is, if someone can benefit from my death by receiving my organs, then my death might mean a little more. Secondly, this is a more selfish reason, if I were to be in the position of needing a heart, liver or any organ to survive, I would hope that someone else would be as generous as I plan to be. I think most people out there would take a donor organ if they needed it, rather than leaving themselves to pass away.
I have had these ideas passed on to me from my mum, who is an organ donor and has always reminded me that those are her wishes if she were to die. This positive attitude towards organ donation has most definitely passed on to me, and I hope it has to my brothers too. I will be registering myself as an organ donor this evening and I would even consider donating my body to science.
I just hope that this law does come into effect in Wales and I hope that it will eventually move into the rest of the UK as well. If you have an opinion on this topic, whether it be similar or different to mine, comment below or on twitter @naspearing.