Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, is raising awareness about organ donation, encouraging constituents to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Since the NHS Organ Donor Register was created in 1994 more than 20 000 lives have been saved through organ donation. However, there are currently 6258 people across the UK still waiting for a transplant. Last year, 408 patients died in the UK on the transplant waiting list. Statistics show that 80% of the public support organ donation but only 38% have opted in.
The Government wants to do more to help those waiting for lifesaving organs which is why in England from Spring 2020 it is introducing an opt-out system, instead of opt-in.
This means that unless you decide to opt-out, you will automatically be an organ donor when you pass away, with the possibility that your organs can go on to save another’s life. This excludes children under 18, people who lack the mental capacity to understand the changes before their death and people who have not lived in England for 12 months prior to their death.
The opt-out system is also referred to as the ‘Max and Keira’s Law’ after Max received a heart transplant from Keira after she sadly passed in a road traffic accident in the summer of 2017.
As Health Minister, Caroline has visited those waiting for a lifesaving transplant across the country. Caroline commented:
“You can make such an incredible difference to someone’s life through organ donation. We have come so far with the NHS Organ Donation Register, but we still have a way to go.
“Having met people across the country waiting for a transplant I have been moved by their stories, bravery and patience. I am incredibly proud that from Spring 2020 more people will have access to life-saving organs.
“However, we need to ensure that people are aware of the changes that are being made and register their choices. I encourage all of my constituents to sign up and let their friends and families know about their options.”