- Figures have shown that more than 450 relatives of organ donors declined permission to donate as they were unsure of their relatives’ wishes in 2016. NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) says families are reluctant to give their loved one’s organs to patients.
- After 12 years of focusing on the promotion of “normal birth”, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is no longer running its Campaign for Normal Birth. Normal is a socially constructed concept and therefore will be interpreted differently depending on the context.
- Last month, the Belfast Health Trust announced a temporary halt on offering fertility treatment as part of a raft of cost-cutting proposals. Access to the Regional Fertility Centre for an estimated 320 new patients would be deferred until next April.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 8th of September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
Figures have shown that more than four hundred fifty relatives of organ donors declined permission to donate as they were unsure of the wishes of their relatives in two thousand sixteen. The National Health Service Blood and Transplant or NHSBT says families are reluctant to give their loved one’s organs to patients. Last year, four hundred fifty seven people died while on the active transplant waiting list, and currently there are six thousand four hundred fourteen patients waiting for organs. NHSBT says donors should ensure they have told relatives of their wishes.
It is campaigning for more people to become donors, and let their families know their intentions, as part of Organ Donation Week which began on Monday and ends on Sunday. Currently England and Northern Ireland operate an opt-in scheme, where potential donors need to make their wishes known. In England and Northern Ireland potential donors have to opt-in, whereas in Wales has an opt-out donation scheme, Scotland will soon follow suit. Whereas in Wales, the NHS has an opt-out clause, where people inform the NHS Organ Donor Register if they do not want to donate. Scotland is set to also offer an opt-out, but the permission of a donor’s family will still be sought.
The British Heart Foundation claimed that more than two hundred fifty people in the UK are waiting for a heart transplant, but only two hundred operations took place in two thousand sixteen due to lack of organs.
There has been much interest in the fact that the Royal College of Midwives or RCM is no longer running its Campaign for Normal Birth. After twelve years of focusing on “normal birth”, the end of the campaign is not a kneejerk reaction to a specific event, but rather a natural progression. In any organisation – commercial or public – campaigns need to be revitalised and adjusted to serve a changing social and cultural environment. It is also not a recent change as the Better Births Initiative had already succeeded the Campaign for Normal Birth in two thousand fourteen. However, the RCM did not remove all references to the campaign from the website until May this year. While appropriate interventions save lives, there is considerable evidence that too many women are having unnecessary interventions in childbirth. A caesarean section is a major operation that comes with serious risks. At a time in history where childbirth in the UK is at its safest (compared to one hundred or one thousand years ago), we intervene more than ever before, and often unnecessarily. Changing this perception of childbirth being risky, and our response to this, requires that birth is seen in society as a normal life event.
The Campaign for Normal Birth was one way of addressing the imbalance in maternity care, which in the UK had swung towards a more medical model of childbirth.
A County Down couple have said the political deadlock at Stormont is delaying their chance of becoming parents. Della McGill has suffered two ectopic pregnancies and said in vitro fertilisation offered her and Ryan Cunningham the chance of having a baby.
Last month, the Belfast Health Trust announced a temporary halt on offering fertility treatment as part of a raft of cost-cutting proposals. Access to the Regional Fertility Centre for an estimated three hundred twenty new patients would be deferred until next April, it said.
They would then join a waiting list that is already up to nine months long for certain treatments.
Women in Northern Ireland are entitled to one fertility cycle paid for by the Health Service
The two biggest parties, the unionist DUP and republican Sinn Féin, blame each other for the lack of progress. In England, the situation is more fragmented and IVF treatment has been restricted or halted in thirteen areas since January.
Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland co-ordinator for Fertility Network UK described a meeting with Health Department representatives as “sad, but encouraging”. Sharon Davidson said targeting fertility services was a soft option. “No one wants to see the vulnerable in society being hit in this way,” she told BBC News Northern Ireland. “However, I am very optimistic that we have put all our points across, we have come out with a good fight to save the service being deferred by an additional five months.”