As of the end of September 2010 there is a little over 8000 people waiting for a potentially life saving or life changing organ donation. Each year around 3000 transplants are carried out, but sadly that is still below the number of people added to the register. More than 400 patients die each year while on the waiting list.
Up to 90% of the UK population support organ donation but only 24% have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register. Many people tell the NHS it is simply just something they "have not got round to doing". (Source NHS)
The UK Government have spent many years procrastinating about implementing an 'opt-out' organ donation system, but they have been unable to make a decision.
I am not suggesting that we try and badger the government to make the hard decision here. What I am suggesting is that they give the public the responsibility of making the decision for them.
I would like to believe that we are mature enough to take the responsibility upon ourselves and we might finally get around having something done to help reduce the number on the waiting list.
It may be obvious from reading between the lines that personally I am FOR the opt-out scheme and I am gambling that if it went to a public vote, that is how the general public would vote. But having said that, if you are flat against the opt-out system this petition is ALSO FOR YOU, as you will have your say if it goes to a vote, rather than the government deciding for you.
Some other facts from the NHS :-
You are (currently) more likely to need a transplant than become a donor.
30% of the people on the NHS Organ Donor Register are aged between 16 and 25 when they join.
All the major religions support organ donation and many actively promote it.
Repeated surveys show that the majority of the public support organ donation.
A donor can donate a heart, lungs, two kidneys, pancreas, liver and can restore the sight of two people by donating their corneas.
Donors can also give bone and tissue such as skin, heart valves and tendons. Skin grafts have helped people with severe burns and bone is used in orthopaedic surgery.
Transplanting a kidney patient costs around £26,000 in the first year for surgery and drugs and £7,500 a year thereafter - £56,000 over five years. A patient remaining on dialysis would cost between £98,000 and £148,000 over the same period.
Finally, I do not work for the NHS. I am simply an interested party.
We the undersigned would like the UK government to organise a public vote on the question of whether the UK should introduce an opt-out scheme for organ donation.
We know that a public vote for a policy decision is a very unusual request in the UK but we believe that the government should at least include the public in the decision making process for their own lives.
Also it seems that this particular issue has been stalling for a number of years and many people are dying while we are forced to wait for a decision.
The Request for a public vote on an 'opt-out' organ donor system petition to The UK Government was written by Christian Fletcher and is in the category Health at GoPetition.