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Archive for October, 2012

Are you on the Organ Donor Register?

If so – thank you!! So many lives could be saved. What a fabulous legacy to leave behind. 

Did you know though, that no matter the fact you have signed the Organ Donor Register, the final word about donating will be with your next of kin and/or family.  Although the transplant team has the right to veto next of kin wishes, they generally do not.

So please ….. If you want to save some lives you must tell your next of kin and your family. Make sure they understand how important this is for you. That however upsetting it may seem at the time, they need to agree with your dying wish to save someone else.

I know someone who, after their loved one’s death, refused to allow the organs to be used, even though their loved one had signed the register. It came as a shock to them to find this out. A couple of days later, they  bitterly regretted their decision to refuse, but by then it was too late.

So please …. sign the Organ Donor Register  AND discuss your wishes with next of kin/family, make it clear this is something you really do want to do.

There is no guarantee that our organs will be able to be used anyway when we die. But at least by signing the Organ Donor Register we have offered.  Another reason why I am pleased I decided to donate a kidney while I was alive. At least I know I have helped one person and hopefully after my death I can help many more.

If you do decide you would like to find out more about living donation, then please read the links on the left of this page, under the heading of “become a donor”. Those links should answer many questions about living kidney donation and, who knows, it may even inspire someone to donate.

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I recently appeared on the Tonight programme “kindness of strangers” and later  on the BBC World News along with Dr. J. Lowney from matchingdonors.com to have a discussion on their organisation which was coming to the UK.

I contacted them to see if they would answer some questions that I and others had regarding their organisation and the role it had here in the UK.  They readily agreed to answer any questions I had but unfortunately, 5 week later they are still not answering any, regardless of repeated  requests. They are now ignoring me 🙂 .   Here is the (lengthy) list of questions I have put to them.  Anyone considering joining the organisation either as a donor or potential recipient may want to read these first before making a decision.  If matching donors responds to any questions I will publish them alongside the relevant question.

QUESTIONS:

The system

Paul Dooley is quoted as saying “The old system of ‘Give us your organ, we’ll decide where it goes’ no longer works. We have the ability to take our system to the UK and save their lives.”

Since the first non-directed altruistic donor was approved in 2007, the HTA have approved in total 160 donors 33 of which were approved in the first half of this year. There are also many potential donors being worked up at the moment with 30 at one transplant unit alone.

1.        Given that the altruistic donation system is very new in the UK, that the numbers of altruistic donors in the UK is increasingly very rapidly year-on-year, and also bearing in mind that the UK population, and thus the pool of potential donors, is a small fraction of that of the USA, on what basis can Paul Dooley justify his statement that our system is no longer working?

2.       Has matchingdonors.com had any legal challenges?

3.       Do all American transplant centres accept directed altruistic donors?

Patients

4.       Does your organisation inform transplant units that one of its transplant waiting list patients is registered with you?

To read more of the questions click this link
Read the rest of this entry »

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