Monday, 26 February 2018

I back opt-out organ donation

Last week MPs backed the Organ Donation Bill, which could save hundreds of lives every year by introducing an opt-out organ donation process. The current rules mean that donors must choose to opt-in to declare that they are happy for their organs to be given to someone else after their death. The new proposed law would change the rules so that instead people would have to declare if they do not want to be a donor. England has some of the lowest rates of organ donation in Western Europe, with around 500 people dying every year because of a lack of suitable donors according to the NHS. I am therefore delighted that the vote passed with no opposition, clearing the first step towards saving the lives of hundreds of people waiting for transplants. The Bill was introduced by Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson and will now be scrutinised during the committee stage, before passing through the House of Lords. I have spoken in the past with Community Champion of the Year Alicia Armstrong, who herself received a transplant, about the importance of organ donation, and so I know just how important this Bill could be. I hope that this is the first step towards an opt-out system in England.