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  1. ITV Report

England to consider opt-out organ donor system

750 people in the Anglia region are waiting for a transplant

A government consultation is due to begin before the end of the year to look at whether England should adopt an opt-out organ donation system.

Rather than the current system of opting in, everybody would automatically be signed up to be organ donors unless they had opted at.

750 people in the Anglia region are currently waiting for a transplant.

Click below for Victoria Lampard's report

Nick Sawyer from Colchester is one of them. He’s been waiting for a new kidney for almost two years and would welcome a change in the law.

Nick Sawyer said: “We have a lack of donors and having an opt-out system would be much much better for people like me who are waiting for an organ of any description.”

Since April 2017, 24 people have died in the Anglia region waiting for a transplant.

Aoife saved someone else’s life so that makes us very happy, very proud.

– Michelle O’Sullivan

Aoife O’Sullivan from Leigh on Sea in Essex was just four when she needed a heart transplant. She was put on the waiting list but died in March 2016. Her mother Michelle would also like to see the introduction of an opt-out system.

Michelle O’Sullivan, Aoife’s mother, said: “It just means there are more organs available for those who are in dire need of them.

"When you’re really ill you’re just looking for someone to give that gift. We would have been over the moon if we’d been able to get a heart in time for Aoife but Aoife saved someone else’s life so that makes us very happy, very proud.”

Aoife O’Sullivan from Leigh on Sea in Essex was just four when she needed a heart transplant.

The number of people on the organ donation register is at its highest but it’s still only 36% of the UK’s population. Studies have found it could be due to our busy lifestyles, misconceptions around religious beliefs, or a reluctance to confront the thought of dying.

Even in an opt-out system families can prevent donation from going ahead and that’s why Adam Crizzle believes educating children about organ donation in schools, is what we should be focusing on. His wife Jeanette, who was from Kettering, died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.

Too many people still wait too long for an urgent transplant and we must urgently address this.

– Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt

Adam Crizzle, Organ Donation Campaigner, said: "Engage these young people and they will be the change agents of the future rather than try and dictate to people and say you have to walk out of the organ donor register.

"We look at some of the tests so far what we're actually seeing is people are actually saying no I'm not going to do this and if it becomes something in schools that they are discussing they are the ones going home and discussing it and that is about winning hearts and minds."

Nick Sawyer from Colchester is waiting for a transplant.

Wales adopted a soft opt-out system in December 2015 and Scotland has said it will introduce a similar system. The consultation in England will last 12 weeks.

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said: "Too many people still wait too long for an urgent transplant and we must urgently address this. Just as most people would be willing to accept an organ if their life was at risk, most people would be willing to donate one to help save somebody else.

"All these issues will be looked at in the consultation and we welcome all those with views to come forward with their contributions."