Easington MP backs organ donor plans

Grahame Morris MP.

Grahame Morris MP.

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A CONTROVERSIAL bid to make organ donation an opt- out system has been backed by a North East politician.

Easignton MP Grahame Morris has spoken out in favour of the idea and lent his support to a British Heart Foundation (BHF) campaign to highlight the need for more organ donors.

Almost 250 people in the North East are waiting for an organ transplant, said the BHF, and 30 have died while waiting in 2010/11.

Currently the UK has an opt-in system for organ donation, where people sign up to a national register.

The BHF wants a system where a person’s consent is presumed unless they, or their family, decide otherwise.

Mr Morris believes that is the best way to increase donor organs available.

“The vast majority of the public are in favour of organ donation,” he said. “But too few people get round to signing up to the register.

“Moving to an opt-out system would harness that groundswell of support, transform the number of organs available to transplant and help many desperately ill people.”

Dr Mike Knapton, of the BHF, said: “For many critically ill patients organ donations offer the best chance of long term survival.

“Tragically, the number of organs available is outstripped by the number of people waiting for one to become available.”