Change or not, it’ll still come down to a family’s wishes
The father of a Rutherglen man whose son was given an extra nine years after receiving a heart transplant says the move to an opt-out system for organ donation does not guarantee more lives will be saved.
David Lloyd received a transplant at the age of 19. Sadly, he passed away in 2015 at the age of 28.
His father, John Lloyd, has previously spoken in the Reformer about the new life David had been given by his transplant.
But while he welcomes moves to encourage more people to donate their organs, he remains unconvinced by the new legislation.
He said:“The problem is, at the end of the day, they will still need to ask the family whether you opt in or not.
“I think, right now, even if someone has opted in and put their name down, the family can still veto it.
”So I don’t know if it’s going to be as important a step as it may seem.
“It’s all very well to say they will introduce an opt-out system but it still comes down to the families wishes and a lot of people will not be happy with that, they just can’t see themselves doing it.”
John said he has witnessed families being uncomfortable with the prospect of organ donation in his role as a minister.
“It’s a very difficult decision because some people feel it is like their loved-ones body being defiled.
“I conduct a lot of funerals and I know families feel very sensitive about the remains. They want to go and view the deceased and somehow they feel something is missing if an organ has been taken away. It’s very hard to say how people will react.”
Looking back on his son’s experience, John said:“It was to our benefit and to David’s benefit.
“A young lad died in an accident and it just so happened he died in a week David was on the waiting list.
“They were almost the same age and the parents allowed it.
“Obviously we can encourage people to do it, and that’s great. In fact, an awful lot of David’s friends actually put their names down as donors after he died.
“But if it happened to them their parents might well say no.
“David would have died at birth if it hadn’t been for modern medicine and we got an extra nine years with him after he had his transplant.
“It’s just a pity we didn’t get longer.”
Benefit David Lloyd was given nine extra years of life when he had a heart transplant at the age of 19