When my fellow councillor Charlotte Barnes gets passionate about something, she is passionate! And Charlotte is passionate about organ donation. She wants an opt-out scheme instead of the current opt-in scheme. Most of Shropshire agrees with her and now Shropshire Council is backing her campaign.
Have you signed the donor register? Click here to sign up online.
Last autumn, Charlotte put a motion to Shropshire Council calling for the council and councillors to “actively promote organ donation in Shropshire.” After a journey through scrutiny committee and a public consultation, Charlotte’s big idea finally came back to council in mid-December.
The public consultation discovered that three-quarters of people who responded backed an opt-out system in which everyone will be automatically considered to be a potential donor unless they say they do not wish to do so.
At the December council meeting, councillors voted to lobby the government to get it to consult on an opt-out system for organ donation. We are also hoping to spark a national debate on opt-out versus opt-in.
Charlotte was jubilation at the council decision:
I’ve campaigned hard for this change ever since the donation of some of my bone marrow saved a man’s life in Germany. The proposal follows the system adopted in Wales and many other European countries which assumes consent for the use or organs unless the deceased has expressed otherwise. This creates a much greater number of potential donors and saves many lives.
I can tell you my heart is still pounding with the excitement of it going through. This is a real step forward for the campaign. I’ve fought long and hard on this issue. I’m glad that Shropshire Council has now endorsed my original motion and has added its weight to get the law changed.
Most people are not against organ donation, they have just not got round to registering as a donor. While we wait for an opt-out system, why not sign up to opt-in?