Change or not, it’ll still come down to a fam­ily’s wishes

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

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

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