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What Stops Black People From Donating Their Organs?

Every Friday, readers of the most popular news outlets such as the BBC and the Guardian are hit with weekly notifications of the rapid increase of Covid-related deaths. The aftershock of seeing the mounting mortalities leads me to an inner battle of conflicting emotions as I wonder if my decision to retract my agreement to become a donor was the right one given our current climate, and if I am a bad person for doing so given the lack of donors in the black community?

At 22 I decided to donate my organs in the spur of the moment after hearing the statement, “When you die everything dies with you.” In February this year, aged 24, I retracted my consent to be an organ donor. I had heard an insane amount of speculation suggesting that if you were in hospital on life support or similar, doctors would be less inclined to resuscitate you as the need for black donors is far greater. I also remember during the application process listing my religious beliefs. My intent was for the doctors to inform my family about my decision following my departure in case of any objections. Looking back, I’m still unsure why the NHS required that personal information and how it would affect mine or my family’s treatment or aftercare. Nevertheless, all of those factors in addition to the lack of control to whom my organs would be given to was enough to make me withdraw consent.