The law around organ and tissue donation is changing from Spring 2020 next year and several Jain leaders recently gathered at the Navnat Centre in Hayes to support the upcoming change in law and explain the new reforms to over 450 members of the community. The event was organised by the Vanik Council UK in association with NHS Blood and Transplant.
“We welcome the change in law because it will provide us with more opportunities to encourage Jains to register on the NHS Organ Donor Register and save lives,” said Manharbhai Mehta, Chairman of the Vanik Council.
According to recent changes, all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups. Those under the age of 18-years-old, people who lack mental capacity, visitors to England, people not living in the country voluntarily or people who have lived in England for less than a year before their death are excluded from the group. Adults covered by this change will still have a choice whether they want to be an organ donor and their families will still be involved before organ donation goes ahead.
The event was attended by Lord Jitesh Gadhia, who has helped establish the Jain and Hindu Organ Donation (JHOD) group, CB Patel, editor/publisher of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar among others. Taking the occasion, CB congratulated the Vanik Council for a wonderful job that the association does and lauded the work of Shubhash Bahai, a former president of Navnat Association.
“Asian communities experience a higher incidence of kidney disease and historically lower organ donation levels. This means that around 30% of all those waiting for an organ transplant are from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background. There are more than nine Asians on the waiting list for every organ donated. As a result, hundreds of members of our community die each year waiting for an organ. This issue is within our hands to resolve and we should grasp the opportunity,” said Lord Jitesh Gadhia.
Kirit Modi, Chair of the JHOD and Andrea Ttofa from NHS Blood and Transplants also addressed the audience and requested for their help to save the lives of people who are waiting for the donors. For community services they honoured Jayman Mehta, Ramesh Shah, Subhash Bakhai, Jayntibhai Ghelani.
“I am delighted to support this amazing event organised by the Vanik Council UK. Our message is simple. Please register your decision about organ donation; please talk to your family members about your decision and most importantly, please help save lives,” said Kirit Modi, Chair of the JHOD Steering group.
They also honoured Living Kidney Donors: *Harshabben Kothari, Mrs Vaishali Mehta, Pravinaben Kothari, Mrs Meena Modi, Dr Madhusudan Shah, Prafula Shah, Rohit Shah, Mrs Maniben Chunilal Talati, Mr Rajen Kothari, Mr Kirit Kantilal Mehta and Mrs Kundanbala Shah.
People were requested to fill the donor registration forms if they wish to do so while at the meeting. 50 people filled the form and handed in. Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar were the media partners of the event.