Whoever’s out, say I

The Welsh are considering a new health law for 2015 which would see the need for people to opt out of organ donation rather than opt in. If instated, Wales would be the first part of the UK to have this system; but it does not necessarily mean that families cannot veto the harvesting of loved ones’ organs.

I’m going to guiltily put my hand up and admit that I don’t carry a donor card. A few times I have filled in application forms but I never took them to the letterbox or pressed the submit button. Why? While I wholeheartedly support organ donation on the surface, I find dealing with the subject a bit morbid: not only am I thinking about my future death but I wonder how my relatives would feel knowing that I go underground with pieces missing that I utilised in my life; albeit accepting that in time only my bones remain. True, I’ve not faced any opposition when bringing up the topic before but there’s a difference between accepting when a person is alive and when said person is in a hospital bed.

In my life, fortunately, I have not come across any event where a family member or friend has needed an organ, but I know that many people out there are desperate for them and the British South Asian and black communities are often those faced with the most limited supply. If I want to receive, surely I should offer? I would happily not opt out if everybody was in the same boat. It removes the need for me to think about it as most people would have their organs removed instead of just some of us.

Never mind giving organs, I haven’t even given blood even though I personally know the value of receiving it: my mother required a large transfusion nearly a decade ago without which she surely would not have survived. Blood had to be helicoptered in from Birmingham, an area with a large South Asian community; London couldn’t provide.
I would like it if you could actually donate blood in more places, say your GP surgery or pharmacies. My failure to provide blood is partly because it seems something to go out of your way to do, but I will one day as how else could I pay for my mother’s life being saved than helping another?

Printable organs and artificial blood will appease any want to keep ourselves intact, but until then I’m happy to have my organs used. In fact, let this be my public declaration if anything happens to me.

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