Transplants save lives

No season of any medical drama – be it Casualty, Scrubs, Gray’s Anatomy or House – is complete without a transplant plot.

After all, this is the very stuff of drama: deadlines and risk, life and death, loss and salvation. It makes for a great story.

Earlier this year John Mortishire, a family friend (his sister is married to one of my cousins) had a lung transplant after living with cystic fibrosis. It hasn’t just saved his life; it’s transformed his quality of life. But for every happy ending there are thousands more people waiting.

The best way to address the shortage of donor organs has been under debate for a while. Should we have presumed consent instead of explicit informed consent? Is it fair for us to expect the bereaved to make decisions for us after our death? Is it right for other families to face bereavement, because we have failed to make our wishes clear?

If more people choose to join the NHS Organ Donor Register now, then these dilemmas could be avoided. Some people claim religious objections but as a Christian I have no such qualms. My church endorses the idea of organ donation as a gift freely given. More likely people just don’t get round to it or don’t make it clear. I’ve filled in donor cards in the past and then lost them. I hate paperwork, but it’s now easier than ever to sign up to the Register. You can do it by phoning 0845 6060400 or online.


1 Comment »

  1. […] Mortishire I am very sorry to learn of the death of John Mortishire. I blogged about John last year in the context of transplants and the national donor register. John’s sister Rachel is married […]

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