There are many reasons for this anomaly, one very obvious cause is the laudable decrease in deaths due to road traffic accidents. Other causes are less tangible - but a recent survey of the rate of donations per hospital around the country seems to indicate a lack of trained staff to broach the subject with grieving next of kin. The new programme for government includes a commitment to the introduction of an opt-out system of organ donation. This system operates on the presumption of consent: everyone is an organ donor unless they have expressly opted out. A controversial system, which is not universally welcomed by the donor community. Many feel the generosity involved in giving permission for organ donation is too enormous for others to merely presume it will be granted. Mark Murphy of the Irish Kidney Association has favoured a required request system such as exists in the US: medical staff are required by law to request permission for organ donation where appropriate. Under this system, the family can still refuse if they believe it was not the express wish of their loved one. Whatever the outcome, the debate is to be welcomed; 1,780 of our friends, family and neighbours have had their lives placed on hold due to chronic kidney failure, we owe it to them to radically increase our incidence of organ donation.
There are two new links on this blog which will give you an insight into life on dialysis and the light donation provides in the vast black hole left by the death of a loved one.
In the meantime you have the power to do something that could save a life: text the word donor to 50050 to receive your donor card or for those of you with posh mobile phones there is an e card available for both android and iPhone through the App Store.