COMMENT: It's time we introduced an '˜opt out' scheme

Imagine, if you can, what it must be like to be on the waiting list for a transplant.

Saturday, 30th December 2017, 6:16 am

You’re desperate to hear that an organ has become available because you know it could transform your life.

When the call finally comes, it must be the best news ever.

But the sad reality is that some never get that call. There are around 6,500 people on the UK transplant waiting list and last year nearly 500 people died while waiting for a transplant, NHS figures show.

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That’s why it’s so important to raise awareness of organ donation and get more people signing up to become donors.

Today we feature three women who each gave up a kidney and who now want their stories to help encourage more people to talk about the subject.

Margaret Moylan donated to her sister, while Sue Dadwell and Jane Shorrock donated altruistically to complete strangers.

In Jane’s case, her son had an accident in his late teens which meant he lost one of his kidneys, yet he has ‘managed fine’ with one kidney all his life.

When she saw an appeal for donors, she knew she too could continue as normal if she donated a kidney.

The ladies each have the huge satisfaction of knowing that their selflessness has enabled three other people to live.

All of them say they are very much in favour of a move to the organ donor ‘opt out’ scheme that was introduced in Wales in 2015. At the moment, anyone in England who wants to donate organs after they die has to sign up for a donor card.

We agree that the ‘opt out’ would be preferable. That way, those with strong feelings against donation could still make their choice, but potentially more organs would be available for donation from people who had not expressed a preference.

That has to be a powerful driver for change.