A national BAME (Black, Asian, Mixed Race and Minority Ethnic) group has welcomed the change in law in England on organ donation this week. The introduction of an opt out system was agreed by the House of Lords on 26 February 2019 and now awaits Royal Assent. The law will encourage everyone to make a decision on organ donation after death and those who do not make a decision will fall into the “presumed consent” category from 2020.
Kirit Modi, Hon President of the National BAME Transplant Alliance said:
“We welcome this change in law because it will encourage more people to have conversations about organ donation and we anticipate more organ donors in the future. It is important to emphasise that close family members will continue to be involved in conversations with the specialist nurse for organ donation before any final decisions are made”.
Sadly around three people die every day in the UK in need of an organ while more than 1,000 families say no to organ donation every year. It remains vital that people continue to have conversations with their family, to remove any uncertainty and offer peace of mind for those who find themselves facing the tragic loss of a loved one. There are considerably more people from BAME background waiting for an organ but the number of people from BAME background who have signed up to the Organ Donor Register is extremely low.
There is a very important role for BAME communities, faith groups and others in explaining the change in law in their communities over the next year by working in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant.
Kirit Modi said that NBTA is actively working with NHSBT is planning an effective communications campaign and is also ready to support BAME communities in planning how they can get this important message to members of their communities.
Kirit Mistry Co- Chair NBTA and Orin Lewis Co-Chair NBTA