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Weatherley MP pushes for changes to donation policy

MP Mike Weatherley is leading the push in Westminster for changes to organ donation policy, alongside MPs Paul Uppal, Marcus Jones and Guy Opperman.

Weatherley has highlighted that whilst 522 patients died in Britain in the last year waiting for an organ transplant, 65 percent of the public would be willing to donate an organ after their death.

However, currently only 29 percent of people are on the organ donor register.

Weatherley has argued that with approximately 7,800 patients on the organ transplant waiting list, there is a “chronic shortage of donors”.

His ideas were heard in Westminster on Wednesday 9 November, where he took a leading role in the House of Commons debate on changing legislation.

Weatherley has promoted an opt-out system, whereby it would be necessary for the public to take the active decision to opt-out of donating their vital organs at the time of their death.

His call was supported by prominent civic campaigner Valerie Paynter.

She said: “I’m baffled as to why we do not already have a system of presumed consent or deliberate opt-out”. Despite the ideological opposition that was shown to this idea in the parliamentary debate on November 9, Weatherley has argued that “the opt-in system has clearly failed”.

“I want an opt-out system brought in as soon as practically possible”, he said.

This was met with some resistance in the parliamentary debate by Paul Burstow, Minister of State and Health.

He said: “The coalition government are absolutely committed to increasing the number of organs available for transplantation, and we believe that as many people as possible who need a replacement organ should be given the opportunity to benefit from a transplant”.

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