Let’s All Opt In to Introduce the Opt Out Organ & Tissue Donation System

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My name is Lucy Ryan and was incredibly lucky to receive a life saving heart transplant 26 years ago aged 2 years-old.  I am also fortunate enough to have a lot of fellow transplantees as friends due to someone somewhere being generous, selfless and brave enough to donate either their own organs & tissue, or those of a relative at an unimaginably difficult time.  But heartbreakingly I have lost friends along the way who waited for a transplant they never received. Imagine waiting to live, being on the transplant list unable to lead a normal life just waiting in hope for that bittersweet call for months even years! 

96% of the UK population have expressed a desire to receive an organ donation. If they needed one yet only 36% are signed up to the current Opt-in system.  (The Opt-in system is where to become an organ and/or tissue donor those of us living in Scotland, Ireland and England must make the effort to sign up to the organ donor register.)  Yet despite it being so easy to sign-up e.g. spending 2 minutes online, many of us still have not “opted-in”! Even with all the fantastic work charities and organisations do to raise awareness.  I know from my own experience it is often something we keep meaning to do, but it never quite reaches the top of the “To-do” list!

In the past few years I have been becoming increasingly frustrated with the growing organ donation crisis and  decided it was about time to do something.  I researched the best way to try to improve the situation settled on the introduction of the “Soft Opt-out” system in all of the UK (alike Wales did in December 2015) is what we need (Scotland & Northern Ireland have already proposed the same idea).  Once the system is reformed we will wonder why on earth it took us so long to do it like banning smoking in restaurants!

The Soft Opt-Out system would mean would everyone automatically becomes an organ donor as an adult unless they decide to “opt-out”. Relatives would be consulted at the time of death, and to see if their loved one ever ever expressed a wish to opt out but for some reason hadn’t. I believe the majority of those whom do not wish to become organ donors are far more likely to make the effort to opt out, than the 60% of the current UK population who would like to become organ donors but have not yet "opted-in".

By becoming a donor you can save almost as many lives as cats apparently have. 3 people die everyday waiting for a transplant—Let’s all Opt in to Opt out and end the donor crisis!

Thank you for taking the time to consider my proposal and hopefully sign up. With your support we can make this happen.

Yours Sincerely

Lucy Ryan