Virendra Sharma MP supports Organ Donation Week
London — Virendra Sharma MP supports Organ Donation Week and encourages constituents to talk about organ donation with their loved ones.
Although the law around organ donation has changed to an opt out system in many parts of the UK, families will still be consulted if organ donation is a possibility.
Each year, hundreds of opportunities for transplants are missed because families aren’t sure what to do. Families will always be consulted about whether their loved ones wanted to be an organ donor or not, and clinicians will never proceed with organ donation if the family or loved ones object. Ealing Southall MP urges his constituents to have an open conversation to discuss family member’s preferences and concerns.
On average British Asian patients wait up to six months longer than white patients for a kidney transplant. Patients from the African Caribbean and African communities wait up to twelve months longer than white patients for a kidney transplant. Although people can receive a transplant from someone of any ethnicity, the best transplants come from donors of the same ethnicity.
Virendra Sharma MP said:
“Many of my constituents are of BAME origin and those from BAME backgrounds are more likely to develop conditions that result in the need for organ transplants and those requiring bone marrow donations are more likely to find a match with someone from a similar ethnic background. Although there has been a fantastic increase in the number of donors overall in the past ten years, the number of BAME organ and tissue donors has only increased by a small fraction of the community and this translates directly into more deaths in our community.”
Speaking at a previous Parliamentary debate on organ donation, the Ealing Southall MP pressed for further education for families to encourage donations. He addressed the sensitivity around this issue and said that when the wishes of the deceased are unclear, and emotions are cloudy immediately after their death, it can be difficult to make the decision to donate at that time. He said, “discussing your wishes with family well in advance can mean that you will save a life. Further education on organ donation and debunking myths about religious exclusion from the practice is necessary to save more lives, as is discussion with family members prior to death regarding organ donation. Awareness must be raised within our schools and communities here in the UK if we wish to save lives and increase quality of life for countless individuals.”
If you have recorded an organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and want to update your details, or change or reaffirm your decision, you can amend your details on https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-your-decision/donate/ or call 0300 123 23 23.