Sunday, July 22, 2007

*Still reading Harry Potter and Deathly Hollows and fighting to put it down*

Having briefly mentioned the proposal of an 'opt out' scheme for the organ donor list in the UK last week, I feel I should give my whole take on it. Well "should" is a bit strong, but as the title suggests this blog is all about me, so I'll talk about what I want to. So huh.

There is a real desperate shortage of organs for people waiting for transplants. Transplant is a "last option" treatment for many people. They will die without one as there is simply no other treatment left to give them. But despite the hope that the prospect of a transplant can bring, because of the terrible shortage, it's not as simple as sitting at home planning life post transplant. You live in a limbo, knowing very well, that for a large proportion of transplant waiters, their transplants will never come in time and you may well be one of the unlucky ones.

So, how do you get more donors? You campaign to get them to carry donor cards, and ask them to talk about their wishes to their next of kin. But the reality of it is, is unless you have been personally affected by the issue of transplant (be it through a relative, friend, neighbour, colleague or postman) it may never even cross your mind. Hence the campaigny bit...

So in comes the opt out scheme. Everyone automatically is on the register and must go to their town hall (or if like here there are no town go...well somewhere) and take their names off the list. It would mean that all those people who "always mean to register, but never get around to it" are automatically on. But I think that people hate being forced to do anything; there would always be a big hoo-haw about being pushed into giving their organs, their choice being taken away. But you see they're NOT being forced; they still have a choice. But you'd have more donors, you'd have more transplants. I think though, with the implementation of any such proposal, that education on the issue is critical.

So am I for it? YES I AM. And I know if I was still waiting for a transplant, I would be even more for it. I'm lucky. I'm on the other side. But too many people aren't.

In the meantime, go AND GET A DONOR CARD.

Or if you are in the UK, visit:

And. Talk. To. Your. Relatives.

And please, please, please, please just do it.