Graham Evans MP : Revolution needed in organ donation
As National Transplant Week begins, Graham Evans MP calls for a revolution in public behaviour surrounding organ donation.
It is a tragedy that here in Britain, three people die each day in need of an organ transplant.
The greatest tragedy is that many of these deaths could be avoided if people made their wishes to be a donor clear to their loved ones.
Despite an increase in organ donations by 50% in the five years to 2012/2013, the number of families who agree to donations has remained the same. That’s because many people don't realise that if they haven’t made their desire to help other people clear, the burden lies on their family to decide if donation should take place. Nobody wants to leave their family with more difficult decisions than they have to which is why I want to encourage everyone to make their choices clear.
What we need is a revolution in public behaviour when it comes to organ donation.
National Transplant Week will be running from 7 – 13 July, during which the transplant community will be encouraging more people than ever before to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and to tell their families they want to be a donor. Families are more likely to say yes when they know that their loved one is on the NHS Organ Donor Register and their wishes have been discussed.
I want to help MPs and constituents become more aware of the vital role organ donation plays in our health system, and how best to raise consent rates.
That is why I am hosting an event in Parliament this week to raise awareness of the need to tackle consent rates for organ donation. Colleagues will be able to meet transplant recipients to hear experiences of how their transplant saved or improved their life. Families of deceased donors will also be in attendance to talk about how they made that very difficult decision to change someone’s life and to say yes to donation. And MPs will be able to see how their constituency is doing on organ donation.
Last year NHS Blood and Transplant and the four UK health administrations set out to aim to increase the family consent rates in the UK to over 80% by 2020. This would rival the deceased organ donation records of the best countries in the world.
We need a revolution in public behaviour when it comes to organ donation in the UK and I hope you can join me on 9 July to find out how you can help achieve this.
It's simple to join the Organ Donor Register by:
Find out more about National Transplant Week
The British Kidney Patient Association supports kidney patients; find out more
The BKPA and NHSBT are holding an event in the Houses of Parliament during National Transplant Week, sponsored by Graham Evans MP, on Wednesday 9th July 2014 between 4:00 pm and 5:30 pm
Graham Evans is Conservative MP for Weaver Vale.