MP for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman has backed the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill in Parliament, which will foster a wider conversation about organ donation and introduce ‘presumed consent’ in place of the current system where people must opt in.
Figures have shown that, tragically, over 400 people died last year waiting for a transplant, so the Bill, which passed its Third Reading in the House of Commons on 26th October and is likely to become law in the spring, will not only reduce waiting times for patients, but save lives as well.
In his speech, Matt highlighted the need for wider conversation around this matter so that family and friends understand the wishes of an organ donor, and also welcomed the safeguards the Bill provides to those who may prefer not to donate. He said, “This is an immensely complex area, and the Bill provides as many opportunities as possible to opt out in a sensible and informed way. We also need to ensure that, if those opportunities [to opt out] are taken, they are known about and understood, because time is often of the essence when it comes to taking organs and ensuring that they do all the good that they can.”
Speaking afterwards, Matt said, “Although there has been progress in recent years thanks to awareness campaigns, there is still too large a gap between registered organ donors and those waiting for a transplant, so any progress to help reduce this is welcome. However it is vital that people understand the wishes of their family and friends when it comes to organ donation, and I hope this Bill will help to open up opportunities for these conversations.”
The Government will launch a consultation on precisely how the bill will be implemented in the new year.