The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Organ Donor Transplants
Posted Monday, 14 January 2008 at 10:58
One of the most fascinating people I ever worked for was Professor Robert Sells, from the Renal Transplant Unit, at the Royal Liverpool Teaching Hospital.

He doesn’t know it, but he introduced me to classical music; the very first track I heard was on his cassette which he played very loudly in the theatre whilst he was operating.

I was just a junior nurse assisting in a junior role, during a very long operation at the time; however, he still found the time to ask me on a couple of occasions during the seven hour stint, whether I was OK and referred to me as a member of the firm. When I subsequently worked in his clinic, I found him to be one of the most considerate professors I ever worked with.

No matter how late it was, before he went home, he would always come down to the unit or the ward, to check on the patient he had operated on that day, despite the fact that the remainder of ‘the firm’, in the form of doctors and registrars, had taken over. He would also - unknown to the rest of the firm - often ring up late at night to check again.

I often trust the opinion of genuinely dedicated kind people, and now, after a number of years, I find it difficult to remember the detail of his argument; however, he was passionate about the need for more donor organs for transplantation.

I believe there should be an automatic presumption for organ donation after death by trauma.

There should be a database for people who do NOT want their organs to be used for transplant - giving people the freedom to opt out.

The harvesting of certain organs, such as cornea, heart, liver, lung and kidney, should be automatic from people once they have died a traumatic death via an RTA or similar; especially the young.

Each region should have a team ready to operate when needed, to remove organs, and there should also be a national database prioritising organs urgently required, especially for children.

It’s tough. It sounds harsh, but so does the death of a thousand people a year, many of whom are children, due to the lack of organ donation.

After all, the government has spent billions on a new NHS computer system. A simple database with the ability for an individual to register their position for non-removal, and for hospitals to check, should be simple enough.

At birth, during the post delivery process before a baby leaves hospital, parents should be asked whether or not to have their child opted out until, say for arguments sake, age 18.

If someone felt strongly enough about not having their organs taken, I am certain they would make sure their name was on that database.

I am also quite sure of this: that if today, the strongest objector to this proposal, or their child or loved one, had the misfortune to be diagnosed as having six weeks to live unless a kidney is found, may suddenly feel a little differently.
Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
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