This Organ Donation Week, 2nd-8th September 2019, Daniel Zeichner MP will be encouraging families to sit down and have a conversation about organ donation ahead of an upcoming change to the law.
From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their organs when they die, unless they record a decision not to donate.
But even after the law change, families will still continue to be approached before organ donation goes ahead, so the need to register your decision and tell your family is just as important as ever.
A survey by NHS Blood and Transplant found the top two reasons for not having the conversation were: it’s never come up in conversation (36%) and don’t want to talk about death (21%).
67,544 Cambridge residents are currently registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Of the approximately half a million people who die each year across the UK, only around 1% die in circumstances where their organs could be donated, so it is vital that no opportunity for someone to become a donor is missed. Last year in Cambridgeshire that meant there were just 31 donors. But across the county there are 66 people waiting for an organ transplant.
Daniel Zeichner MP said: “At the saddest possible time at the end of a life, there may be a chance to create a new beginning for another family. Although there has been progress in recent years thanks to awareness campaigns, there is still too large a gap between registered organ donors and those waiting for a transplant. But it is vital that people understand the wishes of their family and friends when it comes to organ donation, and I hope this Organ Donation Week will help to open up opportunities for these conversations.”