Transplant man welcomes Corbyn's support for opt-out donation

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A Stainburn man believes the country is a step closer to saving thousands of lives after Jeremy Corbyn pledged a future Labour government would introduce an opt-out organ donation system.

Mr Corbyn announced at the party's annual conference this week that Labour would introduce a system like that used in Wales if it got into power.

In Wales, a soft opt-out scheme was introduced in 2015 which presumes that adults consent to organ donation unless they opt out, but still involves consultation with family members.

Paul Caine, of Brierydale Lane, has undergone two kidney transplants and wrote to Cumbria’s six MPs two years ago asking them to support the introduction of a such a system.

Paul hopes Mr Corbyn's support could be the catalyst to start serious debate before it is too late for thousands of people on waiting lists.

He said: "It's good news, I'm really pleased.

"Some powerful people are starting to talk about this and it's gathering momentum.

"This simple change would seriously reduce the number of people dying of liver, lung and heart failure.

"I don't think we're talking about getting it introduced anymore, it's just when and how many people are going to be saved.

"It's not about politics, it's about working together to make this a reality.

"This is a tremendous step and I think it has the legs to go all the way now."

Workington MP Sue Hayman was also pleased to hear Mr Corbyn's commitment.

She said: "I’m absolutely delighted by this news today, as this has been something that I have been calling for in Parliament for a long time, and I have been contacted by a number of constituents who were very keen for the Labour Party to support the introduction of an opt-out organ donation system.

"In Wales, nine out of 10 people supported organ donation yet only three in 10 were registered donors.

"Like the system in Wales, this would be a soft opt-out system which ensures that loved ones must be consulted prior to any organ donation taking place.

"It gives families the opportunity to make the deceased’s wishes on donation known.

"The UK currently has one of the lowest rates of consent in Europe and has a target to increase organ donation consent rates to 80 per cent by 2020.

"That’s why the roll-out of a system like this is so important.

"I’ll keep pressing the current Conservative Government to follow Labour’s lead and commit to introducing this system while they are in office.

"Since its roll-out in Wales, presumed consent has successfully increased the number of organs and tissues available for donation.

"If introduced throughout the UK, it will be a model for increasing consent, lowering waiting lists for organs, and crucially saving lives."

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