New organ donation law 'could save 700 more lives every year'

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The law change follows a consultation a year ago which showed the public are overwhelmingly in favour of organ donation, but only a minority have registered as organ donors.

"We hope that more people will join the great cause to let love continue to live", said Yang Jiayin, Head of the Organ Transplant Centre at Sichuan University's West China Hospital.

The legislation was subsequently introduced previous year, and will return to the House of Commons in the autumn to be voted on.

The announcement came after a report called on the NHS to take more proactive action to address the high death rate among Indian-origin people in Britain due to low levels of organ donation within the community.

Research shows that 82 per cent of people in this country support organ donation, but only 37 per cent have recorded their wishes on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

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"It can not be right that a shortage of donors means people from minority ethnic backgrounds wait longer for a transplant than others", Jackie Doyle-Price, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health and Inequalities, said.

The register will also include an option for people to state their faith, if it is important to their decision.

'But organ donation remains a gift.

Three people still die each day in need of an organ transplant - and now there are 5,100 people in England on the waiting list. "I want to encourage people who wish to give life in the event of their death to take the time to record their wishes and discuss it with their family".

Fiona Loud, policy director at Kidney Care UK, said: "Patients are dying every day while they wait for a transplant, so we welcome the commitment to change our system so more lives can be transformed".

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Those who do not want to donate their organs can record their decision on the Organ Donor Register. We believe the soft opt-out is the right thing to do, but it is not the only thing to do.

There will be a 12-month transition period to allow time for discussion with friends and family about organ donation preferences ahead of the new system coming into effect in spring 2020.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: 'There is a desperate shortage of organ donors in the UK. "Many more lives could be saved by telling their families they want to donate".

Organ donation is a personal choice and faith plays a major role in their decision.

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