British Heart Foundation urges everyone to support the organ donation scheme

"Yes I donate" NHS organ donor card

The British Heart Foundation is urging people in the South East to ask their local MP to attend parliament this Friday to vote in favour of an ‘opt-out’ organ donation system.

78 percent of people in the South East say they would support changing the law in favour for an opt-out organ donation system rather than the current opt-in law, according to new figures from the British Heart Foundation.

Organ donation box arriving at hospital for transplant operation.

In the poll of more than 2,000 people, the charity found out those in the South East who would not support a change in the law were put off by concerns they would not be able to opt out or it would be hard to do so.

The charity says this highlights a lack of public awareness and confusion about the proposed new system, which would allow any person opposed to donating their organs to opt out.

Last year the amount of people on the transplant list in the UK alone reached a total of 6,338.

Kieran Sandwell was only 38 when he had a heart transplant. “I have been given a second chance at life, but I have met many others who are living in agonising uncertainty about whether they will live or die.

“For them, a new organ is their only chance of survival. Surely with so many people in need, an opt-out system is a no-brainer.

“I’m alive today because my donor made it clear she wanted to donate her organs, and I will be forever thankful that she made her wishes clear.”

Figures from the British Heart Foundation poll also revealed just under half of people are not aware of their families wishes when it comes to organ donation, with 48 percent of people saying they simply hadn’t thought about having this conversation. More than a quarter said it was too awkward or sad to bring up.

Chief executive at the British Heart Foundation, Simon Gillespie said: “There is a desperate shortage of organs in the UK and introducing an opt-out system in England will better reflect the views of the general public and give hope to those currently waiting for a transplant they so desperately need.”

For more information, visit bhf.org.uk/organdonation

More from News