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Do unto others… the debate of Organ Donation November 13, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics, Rants.
Tags: , , ,

(I don’t know why Organ Donation deserves capitals in the title – sorry!)

Organ Donation Card

Organ Donation Card

As people who follow my Twitter feed or know me on Facebook may have noticed, I have been thinking about organ donation this week. They are currently doing a mas push on it using television ads, and it triggered me to formally sign up in more of a way than just ticking the box for my cards and hoping someone notices. I also got Ben to sign up, and chatted to my family about the issue.

Organ donation is something I have always wanted to do. As long as there is something of me left to bury under a Horse Chestnut tree when I have died, I don’t mind where the other bits go. If they can help someone, all the better. For some unknown reason I have always had an issue with my eyes being used. Somehow, above anything else, that creeped me out. When signing up last night, however, I bit the bullet and hit the “take it all!!!” button – which, I would like to add, is not worded like that at all!

Whilst organ donation seems an automatic thing to me, other people never make an outright decision. For a majority of people, they never say yes, or no, to the prospect. So many feel don’t feel passionately about it either way, and as such they get missed, any opinions that they have may not expressed aren’t known if they do die, and plenty of organs go wasted based on the families wishes, and not the wishes of the actual person who really matters, the person whose body it is.

The ting is, I can understand people not wanting to donate organs. I don’t necessarily agree, but I know it is their right and someone messing with their body is an idea that disturbs some people. I am completely empathise with the squeamish side of it, and that as a reason for people choosing not to donate. And where this is the case, I feel people should be able to choose to opt out, whether for religion, or personal opinion, or whatever reason they may darn well choose.

That is where I stand on the argument – I believe everyone should automatically be put on the register, and if they care enough they can choose not be on it, with no problem at all. I simply don’t see why this isn’t the case?!

Can someone shed light on why we have to opt in rather than opt in? Do proactive organs work better?!

 By the way, if you want to sign up for the UK register, simply go here.



1. Amber - November 15, 2009

I totally agree, and I think it’s wonderful that you’ve signed up. I used to be fairly squeamish about the idea of it, but the way I see it is that if I needed a transplant, I would definitely accept it – and that being the case, it seems only fair to me that I be willing to donate, too. Terry got his transplant from a living donor, but was on the transplant list for years while tests were carried out etc, and the whole experience really brought home to me how badly donors are needed. It really can save someone’s life, so thank you for this post, it’s a great thing to do 🙂

2. gem - November 19, 2009

As I understand it, even if you are on the donor register hospitals still have to seek permission of the family/next of kin. So you may choose to donate, you may carry a donor card and they may know your wishes, but if your next of kin object, they still can’t use your organs. Making the register largely pointless to me.

If this changed I would register, but as it is my family would have to make the choice. They know I believe in organ donation, and in the end it will be their choice.

3. Jessica - December 8, 2009

It’s great that you are raising awareness of organ donation. Do you know about the current NHS organ donation campaign? We thought you might be interested in ‘Save the Tin Man’, designed to encourage people to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register. Hope you like it, and do pass it on!


From the NHS Organ Donor Register campaign team

4. Lauren Cooke - December 8, 2009

Hi Jessica

Thanks for your comment. I do know about the campaign I actually signed up literally a second after seeing the ad on TV. I think you are doing fab work, and that Tin Man thing is great!


5. Ellen - December 12, 2009

It is a good question you pose. Most of the time people are either against organ donation or for it. If this is the case the only thing we can do is acknowledge the disagreement. I think a new question to pose might be whether or not we can ever settle this debate. Do you think there is a way in which we can come to a common consensus?

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