Page 19 - Support Magazine Autumn 2017
P. 19


                                                                           PUBLIC CONSULTATION PROCESS

           In Ireland there is apparently resistance to the  ‘opt-out’ Bill being discussed at the time Dr. Glover
        introduction of the SNOD. They are key to organ    said he believes the bill in isolation will fail. “It will
        donations growth in so many countries.             have to be underpinned by education.” In the same
           A significant amount of the growth in organ donor  article intensive care consultant Dr. TJ Trinder said that
        numbers in the UK 5 year strategy period, following  there would be “no credible reason for the legislation,
        implementation of the taskforce recommendations,   unless the intent is to override family objections to
        were from the developments and improvements in the  donation.”
        ‘Donors after Cardiac Death’ (DCD) category helped, in
        particular, by the SNODS.                                            THE SPANISH EXPERIENCE
           In April 2016 – March 2017 there were 1,413                       Generally considered world-
        deceased organ donors in the UK divided 829,                         leaders and innovators in organ
        (58.7%) donors after brain death and 584, (41.3%)         SPAIN      donation and transplantation,
        donors after cardiac death. This is the area where                   Spain legislated for an ‘opt-out’
        Ireland has the best opportunity to increase deceased                system in 1979. However, in the
        organ donor rates considering that only 3 out of the                 extract below, (from a BBC
        77 organ donors in Ireland in 2016 (4%) were DCD   article in 2008), Rafael Matesanz, then Clinical Director
        donors.                                            of the Organizacion Nacional de Trasplantes and
           Extrapolating the figures, if we had SNODS active in  attributed with developing the so-called ‘Spanish
        our donating hospitals doing the similar job they have  Model’, stated:
        in the UK, we could achieve 40% DCD donation on      “Many countries try to increase organ donation
        top of our DBD rates. This is the most achievable thing  through legislation. But a change to presumed consent
        anyone can do to increase organ donation rates in  doesn't improve the donation rate.”
        Ireland. It requires investment in staff and training, and  He points to Rioja, a small region of Spain in terms
        like the UK, it requires leadership, boldness and  of its population. Seven years ago it was languishing
        willingness but at least we have proof it can work  behind many other regions in organ donation. In 2003
        before we start.                                   a new transplant co-ordinator was appointed and the
                                                           change has been quite remarkable. This individual
                      NORTHERN IRELAND                     doctor has galvanised the regional hospital to such an

            NORTHERN   They have been considering the      extent that, last year, they had the equivalent of 74
                      introduction of ‘opt-out’ legislation for  donors per million population, double the already high
                      some time but have yet to implement  Spanish national level.
                      it. It is interesting to note that Dr. Paul  Spain had an ‘opt-out’ system for 10 years – with
        Glover, the most senior doctor dealing with organ  no significant increase in organ donation rates and
        donation in Northern Ireland, is quoted in a January  then they introduced the package of changes in 1989
        2016 BBC article as saying, “...legislation is not the  which has made them the most successful at deceased
        way to increase donation rates.” When referring to an  organ donation in the world.

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