Mark Tami MP backs calls for an ‘opt out’ solution to organ donation.

The Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill was debated in Parliament on Friday as MPs look to introduce an opt-out solution to organ donation, like we have here in Wales, and also in Scotland.

MPs from all parties spoke in favour of the proposal as the Bill had its second reading in Parliament.

The Bill was brought forward by Labour MP for Coventry North West, Mr Geoffrey Robinson, and already has the backing of both the front bench and shadow front bench, and also the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition.

Mark Tami MP spoke at the debate and raised a number of concerns. He agreed more needs to be done to improve the diversity of those on the organ donation list, and used stem cell transplants as an example as white people waiting for a stem cell transplant have an 80% to 90% chance of finding a possible match, compared to certain ethnic backgrounds where the figure could be as low as 30%.

Mr Tami also stated that stigmas associated with organ donation need to be addressed. Again referring to stem cell donation, a procedure many believe to be painful and difficult where in fact it is a very simple process that can save many lives.

Mr Tami said about the debate; “It was a very productive debate, it is encouraging to have support across the board and hopefully we can get this Bill through Parliament as quickly as possible.

“I used the debate to talk about my own experience with my son. We were lucky that Max was able to find a stem cell donor but it was heart breaking to see so many parents who did not find a donor for their child.

“Although I do a lot of work with stem cell transplants, more needs to be done across all aspects and we need to do whatever we can to ensure that more people get on to the register and donate organs.

“According to the British Heart Foundation, up to 90% of the public said they were in favour of donation in principle, but that only 36% get around to signing the register. An opt-out system would considerably improve this situation.”