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Nurse cycles to boost organ donors

by
12 July 2013

by a staff reporter

CHURCH IN WALES

Motivated: Jo Davies with her colleague Phil Walton and Bishop John Davies, before setting off

Motivated: Jo Davies with her colleague Phil Walton and Bishop John Davies, before setting off

JO DAVIES, a specialist nurse for organ donation at Nevill Hall hospital in Abergavenny, who is married to the Bishop of Swansea & Brecon, is cycling around Wales to raise awareness of the need for organ donation.

This week, Mrs Davies has cycled 330 miles with a colleague, calling in at 11 hospitals en route, to mark National Transplant Week. She hopes to raise £2000 for the charity Donor Family Network. She said: "We get lots of families who haven't had a conversation with their relative, and don't know what they wanted, so they default to a no." She wanted to "help people to talk about it".

Last week, plans for a system of presumed consent for organ donation were voted through by the Welsh Assembly. This means that people will be assumed to have consented for their organs to be donated, unless they have specifically opted out.

The Church in Wales and other faith groups had argued for a "soft opt-out" system, which would allow a deceased person's relatives a say on donation.

Research published this week suggested that Christians were more likely to donate their organs than other groups. While 31 per cent of the UK population overall have joined the NHS organ-donor register, 48 per cent of the Christians surveyed said that they had signed up.

The research was carried out by the "fleshandblood" campaign, an initiative between the NHS and Churches, including the C of E. The campaign is designed to encourage Christians to donate blood and join the organ-donor register ( Comment, 5 April). It is the first time the NHS has worked with Churches on a national initiative of this kind.

A discussion was held at the General Synod this week, about ways in which the Church could raise awareness of organ donation.

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