Earlier this evening our wonderful co-founder Molly-Jane hosted an Instagram Live video with myself and Jacob; in which she interviewed us about our views on Organ Donation and the new opt out system that is coming into play this month. If you would like to watch the live stream you can watch it here!
But here is an overview of what we discussed.
I am already an organ donor, I registered around two years ago. However, Jacob is not a registered organ donor. Molly-Jane asked Jake if he would consider opting out when the new system comes into place on the 20th of this month. Jake replied saying that we would not opt out, but it is something that he would re-think in future, as at the moment, with being young, he does not feel as though it is hugely important to worry about. I thought the concept of age was quite interesting and this lead to a more detailed discussion later in the chat about how the new system excludes people under the age of 18.
The new system automatically registers everyone over the age of 18 as an organ donor and therefore if you do not want your organs to be donated you need to opt out.
We discussed the age barrier that the new system has put into place. With only persons 18 and over being automatically registered, this means that parents/guardians of those under 18 must make the decision of whether or not to have their child’s organs donating if something were to happen to them.
I spoke about how many young people from around the age of 12-13 are capable of making an informed decision about whether or not they would like to be an organ donor as they have the mental capacity to understand the concept of organ donation. Therefore I think that organ donation should be spoken about in schools and parents should be encouraged to have this conversation with their children when they reach an age where they are able to understand, this way the children can have a say in regards to what would happen to them if anything were to happen and their parents would be able to honour their wishes. I also said that for children who are not old enough to make an informed decision for themselves, parents should discuss with one another how they feel about organ donation in regards to their child. I know that this is not a conversation that parents want to have, as no parent anticipates losing their child… but I do think that it is an important conversation to have!
Jake agreed with this and added that it should be taught in schools over a set period of time to ensure that the topic is fully understood and gives the children a chance to ask questions and even do their own research in regards to organ donation.
Molly-Jane then asked whether or not we would donate any organs whilst we are alive. Jake said that it would depend on the situation and who he would be giving his organs too. For example, if it was for a loved one whom he was close to, then he most likely would be willing to donate. However, if it was for someone who he had never met, he may take more persuasion before he could make a decision.
I agreed with this and added that it may be easier to agree to donate to a stranger if I were to be given the chance to get to know them a little bit beforehand. For example getting to introduce myself to them and learn a little bit about their story before giving them a part of me.
We then spoke about donating blood. This is something that I would like to do as I think it is a wonderful thing, however I have given blood once before in the past and I did not react well to it. I am terrified of needles and it left me feeling very queasy and light headed. However, if you are able to give blood, I would encourage you to do so!
Then Jake said that he has never really looked into giving blood, but it is something that he would do. He then asked how often you are invited to give blood, whether it is weekly, monthly or yearly. Neither of us had an answer for this question! I am under the impression that blood drives are held monthly but that you do not have to attend every single one… but I am unsure of this. We said that we would look into this in more detail.
We ended the talk with discussing TV and movie character deaths that we found hard to watch! We definitely had a good conversation about this and it was a nice light hearted way to end the chat.
We would love for you to watch the live stream and share your thoughts and maybe answer the interview questions yourself in the comments so that we can see what your opinions are in regards to organ donation.