Eastleigh’s MP supports organ donation ‘opt-out’

Mims Davies (R) with Andrew Dibsdall and Kay Mason – the first person in Britain to donate a kidney to a stranger.

Eastleigh’s MP Mims Davies has supported a Bill to introduce an ‘opt-out’ system for organ donation in England following a meeting with Bishopstoke resident Andrew Dibsdall who told the MP how important organ donation had been for him and many others.

Mims Davies said in a press release:

I am delighted to have supported this Bill, particularly after meeting with Andrew over this issue in Parliament last September, when he spoke of his personal experiences with dialysis and transplantation while living in Eastleigh.

Shortly after I met with Andrew the Prime Minister announced proposals to move to an opt-out system for organ donation, and I am delighted that on Friday the Government supported this cross-party Bill to do exactly that.

Having had a career in traffic safety before entering parliament, I recognise the number of lives that are tragically lost on our roads, and the heartbreak that families face as a result. Organ donation can save some of those lives, but just as vitally families donating the organs of their loved ones can help to save the lives of countless others.

At the moment in England, organs can only be used if explicit approval is given, either by signing the register or if the deceased had told a family member of their desire to donate.

The Bill – introduced as a Private Members Bill with cross-party support – will bring England into line with Wales, which already has an opt-out system for consent – with exemptions for under-18s and adults not able to make informed decisions.

Andrew Dibsdall said

I am delighted that Mims as my local MP has backed this key Bill. Apart from the health and lifestyle benefit to the recipient, an organ transplant greatly reduces the treatment cost of organ failure to the NHS.

According to figures from NHS Blood and Transplant, in 2016 457 people died while on a waiting list for a suitable transplant donor, a further 875 were taken off the list due to poor health with some dying afterwards.