Organ donation is a big debate. By donating your organs, you are providing the possibility of renewed life for someone else in desperate need. There are some facts you should know about organ donation so you can make an informed and most important decision in your (and possibly someone else’s) life.
The demand is far greater than the available supply. More than 90,000 Americans are on a waiting list for transplants. Another person is added to the waiting list every 16 minutes.
If a family member is ill and needs a kidney in order to survive, you would more than likely hope and pray that they get one. If one of your family members dies in a car crash, how would you feel about their organs being harvested to help save possibly dozens of other people?
That is the dilemma that may not face families who are in a state of emotional turmoil under the plans of the welsh government. They intend to publish a White Paper outlining a system that presumes ‘soft’ consent. In a nutshell, it is presumed that the organs from a person can be used unless the family opts out for personal reasons. They will still be consulted when the death has occurred, but it will not be a case of waiting for a decision, more to see if the family wants to decline to donate them.
The Archbishop of Wales wants these plans stopped. He feels that the policy would undermine people’s trust in doctors and nurses and said:
“Organ donation surely ought to be a matter of gift and not of duty.”
He would prefer there be more of an effort made in raising the profile of organ donation and to encourage people to join the organ donation register.
Wales is only second to Spain for organ donation rates with a 66 per cent rise in the past two years and the process saved 195 lives last year alone. 49 people still died however, whilst on the waiting list for a transplant.
Emma Smith, a transplant recipient, said: “The Archbishop would benefit from meeting patients who are on the transplant list and have been for many years to get a feel of what it is like to wait for a donor to give the gift of life.”
An emotional topic and one hopefully many of us will not have to face first hand. But to save a life, is ‘presumed consent’ really so awful?