Welcome to all the (potential) new Organ Donors – because unless you “Opted Out”, you are now on the Organ Donor Register as a potential donor.

What this means is that, if you die in Hospital your organs could be available to improve or save someone’s life – isn’t that just wonderful? You could give sight back to someone with your corneas, you can save the life of a man who’s heart is giving out, you can “cure” a diabetic girl who’s pancreas and kidneys are not working, you can rescue a woman who has terminal liver disease so many things your body can do when you no longer need it. Why burn or bury such treasures when lives can be saved? So, legally, parts of your body that you no longer have any use for can go to do all these, and other, wonderful things.

But there’s one more step to go through. The people close to you, your family and/or friends will be asked to give their consent before your organs can be taken. And they can refuse. Sadly, nearly 40% of families withhold consent, sometimes because the shock of loss that they have just experienced is too great and their heart tells them “Please, no more”, sometimes because they do not understand what a gift they hold, most often because they have never talked about it, do not understand the need.

So if you have joined the register either by directly signing on or, indirectly,  by not opting out, it is very important that you tell those close to you that you wish your organs to be used to save and help others. One healthy person could save or improve the lives of nine other people. That is an heroic act and you can be such a hero.

Michael Amies

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