The Guardian has a really interesting article on organ donation which interviews everyone involved in the donor trail, from the mother who chose to donate her son’s organs, to the recipient, the transplant surgeon and on up to the top transplant person in the Department of Health.
It’s an enlightening read, revealing all sides of the debate on increasing the availability of organs for transplant, which is currently going on in the UK. The government is in favour of an opt-out system where you are assumed by default to be an organ donor unless you specifically choose not to be, though that has the potential to be extremely hard on grieving family members.
A preferable system, which gets a mention in the article, is the one employed here in Australia. When you apply for, or renew, a driving licence, you are given the option of ticking a box assenting to the donation of your organs. You’re also given the option of choosing to only donate certain organs.
Ticking this box results in your licence stating that you are an organ donor, and is legally binding in the event of your death, overriding the wishes of your family. It seems a far more sensible solution as the wishes of the deceased are upheld, which is infinitely preferable than having a bureaucratic decision foist upon a grieving family.
I ticked the box. Might as well, I certainly won’t be needing my organs after death.