Organ Donation and the Church
If you have been following the news in the UK (specifically, Wales) recently, you’ll know that they are currently considering a bill that will mean that everyone will be assumed to be an organ donor, unless they opt out. I am in favour of this (and wish the English government would do the same).
I am a registered Organ Donor (and carry a Donor Card), registered with the Anthony Nolan Trust as a potential bone marrow donor and, now that the law has changed, I have been single (and all that entails) for a sufficiently long time and I now have enough weight, I intend to become a blood donor. I strongly believe that those of us who are lucky enough to be healthy should be doing as much as possible to help those who are not (which in part explains how passionate I am about my volunteering).
Now, I’m not saying that everyone should be forced to donate blood, or bone marrow. While I’d love it if you did, I know that this can cause (a small amount of) disruption to your life and could make you unwell for a while, and I don’t want people to go into that without being willing. However, to be blunt, once you are dead, the location of the organs in your body are the least of your worries. (http://xkcd.com/659/) If you are unfortunate enough to die at a stage when your organs are useful to others, then using them to allow one or more people to live on seems perfectly logical.
I know that it is scary, considering your own mortality, and that of the people you know. But this legislation isn’t going to change your chances of dying of something (no matter how many scare stories are bandied around about doctors killing some to save others). And it will decrease the 1000 people a year (cite) who die while waiting for a transplant.
Many people are thought to be willing to be an organ donor, but just haven’t got around to registering, and I’d wager most of these never will. This will help those people follow this through without any trouble, and those who are against it will still be able to say no.
This post was prompted by a news article I spotted earlier, about the church speaking out against an opt-out system. This made me grumpy… While I am not religious, I don’t have a real problem with religion. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, as long as they don’t harm others.
This will harm people. The church has no problem with organ donation (cite). Why are they arguing against something that will save lives?
If you want to find out about blood donation, go here.
More information about bone marrow donation is available from the Anthony Nolan Trust. They are particularly looking for young male donors.
Organ donor registration can be done here.
(All links for England and probably good for the UK in general. Google is your friend if you need the details for elsewhere.)
If you want to sign up, do, and I encourage it. If you don’t, don’t. If that means that you need to opt-out, do so. At least you will have thought about it.
It’s your choice, and always will be. I may not like your decision, but I’ll still fight to ensure you can make it.