Public urged to encourage MP’s to attend debate for new organ donation system

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Members of Parliament will have the chance to vote for a new law to change the way the organ donation system works on Friday (February 23).

Currently there is an ‘opt-in’ system, where people can choose whether they wish to donate.

The new system would mean that people would automatically be registered as a donor, unless they ‘opt-out’.

The British Heart Foundation are urging people to contact their local MP to encourage them to attend the debate.

Stoke-on-Trent North MP, Ruth Smeeth, fully supports the proposed changes.

She said: “These changes could save countless lives and offer fresh hope to those people currently facing the agonising wait for donor organs.

“Scotland and Wales have already led the way on this and it is time that England followed suit.

“This is a small change that could make an enormous difference to families across the country.

“I’ll be voting to support it.”

According to the British Heart Foundation, nearly three quarters of people in the West Midlands are already in favour of the ‘opt-out’ system, which could save thousands of lives.

The charity acknowledges that there is a lack of awareness around the urgency of organ donation, as it was revealed that 457 people on the organ transplant list died last year, whilst waiting for an operation.

Kieran Sandwell, who had a heart transplant at the age of 38, said: “I have been given a second chance at life.

“But, I have met many others who are living in agonising uncertainty about whether they will live or die.

“For them, a new organ is their only chance of survival.

“Surely with so many people in need, an opt-out system is a no-brainer.

“I’m alive today because my donor made it clear she wanted to donate her organs.

“I will be forever thankful that she made her wishes clear.”

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “There is a desperate shortage of organs in the UK.

“Introducing an opt-out system in England will better reflect the views of the general public and give hope to those currently waiting for a transplant they so desperately need.

“We are urging everyone in the West Midlands to encourage their local MP to attend parliament this Friday to debate a Bill that could save lives.”

You can write to your MP here –  bhf.org.uk/organdonation

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