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Presumed Consent 2

Eddie Mair | 13:09 UK time, Wednesday, 18 July 2007

About an hour ago I recorded an interview with Andy ( see the Presumed Consent thread ) and his friend who is donating one of his kidneys.

We'll air the interview tonight...and I'll post it on THIS thread shortly.

1520 UPDATE: HERE it is in its full form. An edited version will be on the programme.


  1. At 01:49 PM on 18 Jul 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    All the best to Andy and his friend - post op update please!

  2. At 02:05 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Looking forward to the interviews. Thanks for covering this fantastic act of friendship.

  3. At 02:20 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Sid Cumberland wrote:

    I do hope there won't be too much anti-American bias ...


  4. At 03:08 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Andy Williamson wrote:

    Sid (3) - as it happens I'm a US citizen as well as a Brit (Californian mother, dad's family from the Shetlands). I can confirm that I detected no anti-Amercian bias when Eddie was interviewing us. I have to say that I'm mighty relieved that I live in the UK, as if I'd been in the US, there's no way I'd have been able to afford to pay for medical insurance AND carve out a precarious career as a jazz saxophonist. My life choices would have probably been very different.

  5. At 03:12 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Now now, Sid. I think we're all hoping for a cooling down in the flame war that seems to have broken out recently....

  6. At 04:23 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Sid Cumberland wrote:

    Fearless Fred - yes indeed. I hoped my gentle jibe might help the healing process in a homeopathic sort of way. Please don't ask me to explain.

    Andy - all my life I have wished I could play like Stan Getz. (I wouldn't want to be him - I'd rather be Gerry Mulligan or Ben Webster.)


  7. At 05:10 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Peter Coghlan wrote:

    Andy's wish for a register of 'live donors' has already been granted within the pilot 'altruistic' programme for kidney donors. So far however the take up has been very small and up to June no procedures had taken place.

    'Presumed consent' is indeed a 'no-brainer' but so is signing up to donate on the Organ Donor register within the current system. The difference is one system works and the other doesn't.

    May I wish both of them all the very best of luck for the future. It's unlikely be a 'nice lazy time' for either of them for a while and they should set their expectations accordingly. For Andy the first 6 months can be a roller-coaster as his system settles down to his new kidney and for Maff you may get back to work in a month or two but don't bank on it - it can take somewhat longer depending on the individual.

    Either way Andy will have received a priceless gift and hopefully he and his nearest and dearest will get their lives back again; a first beer, a first banana, a first bag of chips and a first walk in the park - a litany of previously denied 'firsts' and special occasions that will be with them for the rest of their lives.

  8. At 06:17 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Bobbie wrote:

    Regarding whether organ donation should be "presumed consent" or "consent" is, as others have said a "no brainer" as most surgeries have had Donor Cards in receptions for years and it SHOULD always have been part of registering with a doctor but a part that most reception staff won't do/don't know about.

    HOWEVER, and this is very important and very rarely mentioned, permission to use organs can be witheld by my next of kin.

    I have carried an organ donor card since they first came out and am now on the electronic register. If anything happened to me, no matter what my belief for so many years, my next of kin can say that my organs cannot be used. It seems we hand our organs to our next of kin as we die and they can make decisions relating to them.

    Amend that law if we are amending anything. Knowing that a doctor could confidently say a next of kin, "In accordance with her wishes your wife is on life support while we make arrangments regarding her organ donation" instead of having to beg as they do at the moment.

    To Andy and Maff I wish them both well.


  9. At 09:37 PM on 18 Jul 2007, jennifer leaver wrote:

    I donated a kidney to my close friend Sandie two years ago. It was really good to be able to help someone close who was very unwell and it has been great to see her healthy. The operation was very straight forward, apart from feeling a little washed out for a few days and some discomfort from the stitches I felt fine and Sandie immediately felt the benefit of a healthy kidney. I am really glad you aired this story today as I don't think enough people know about live kidney donation - organ donation discussions rarely mention live donations, and as Andy said a huge amount of money could be saved by the NHS if more live kidney donations took place.
    Good luck with the operation boys!

  10. At 09:39 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Avis Williamson wrote:

    Thanks Eddie for your continued interest in this story. As you might guess, I'm a relative, Andy's mother. I am extremely proud of Andrew for helping to keep transplants and organ donation in the news.

    Unfortunately, I unwittingly passed the kidney condition (PKD) to Andrew in his genes. I now have a transplant that is almost 14 years old. I know what is ahead of him - but it is like 'getting your life back'. What can I say to Maff and his family - you are all wonderful- words are not enough.

    My transplant was a gift from a family whose relative died. I'm extremely grateful. Unfortuanately, many families are not able to agree to donations even with donor cards in place . I know this is a sensitive issue. Our organs are no use to us when we are dead. If we treat the dead with dignity their donations can give so much to those of us who need kidneys, hearts, livers, corneas, etc.

    In other countries presumed consent seems to work. Maybe we just need more public discussion about organ donation. We might take a while to get where Maff is . He is so matter of fact . A better way must be found to use the organs of the dead and willing living donor.

    This does not have to be posted. But I do want to epress my appreciation.

  11. At 09:52 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Avis (10), Your post made me cry. My very best wishes to you, Andy and Maff.

  12. At 11:15 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Andy Williamson wrote:

    Huge and heartfelt thanks to all who have posted good wishes here - they do mean a lot.

    Sid (6) - I share both of your desires. Stan was the second saxophonist whose sound I wanted to emulate (1st was Plas Johnson who played the Pink Panther theme - who I met in New Orleans a couple years ago). Your picture reminds me more of Gerry! I bought a baritone recently - give me a few years...

    Peter (7) - thanks for some good sense. I do realise it may not be all plain sailing. I hope Maff's experience is similar to Jennifer's.

    Mum (10) - stop making these people cry (including me). But I'm glad that passing on PKD wasn't a consideration 40 years ago. I think you had enough to worry about then! Love you x

  13. At 10:40 AM on 19 Jul 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Avis and Andy - frugs (frogger hugs) to both of you! x

    Peter Coghlan (7) - where is this pilot? I searched for a living donor register but no joy. ANy info would be greatly appreciated.

  14. At 11:25 AM on 19 Jul 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Oh Andy (12), I'm crying again now! My very best wishes.

    A, xx.

  15. At 12:06 PM on 19 Jul 2007, Andy Williamson wrote:

    Hi Witchiwoman

    I remember you asking about this the last time I posted here. I tried to respond then. I'll try again.

    I'm not sure what Peter's referring to. It may be the 'Paired Donor' scheme, which has indeed just started. This is where people like me who need a kidney have a friend or family member who wants to donate but is incompatible. Such pairs are being compiled into a database. Once there are enough there for it to be viable, then attempts will be made to match willing donors with other recipients. Such a scheme in Baltimore, USA last year led to a simultaneous 5-way transplant (5 donors, 5 recipients).

    It's also possible - and legal since 2006 - for anyone to present themselves to any UK transplant centre and ask to be considered as an altruistic living kidney donor. There's a list of such hospitals here. They all should have a 'Living Donor Coordinator' who is a nurse, trained in all of the issues involved. In such cases, if you're accepted as a donor, they will find the most suitable recipient from the waiting list.

    Any more questions, please respond here, or via my blog (linked from my name above).

  16. At 12:36 PM on 19 Jul 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    It's such a heartwarming story, such true friendship, such modesty.

    Andy and Maff: Very best wishes to you both for the future event. We love seeing you here, along with Mum, and hope you'll keep in touch with the PM Blog.

    Enjoy your summer until then - and after 'then', enjoy your new life.

  17. At 04:42 PM on 19 Jul 2007, Peter Coghlan wrote:

    Hi Witchiwoman and Andy. I was referring to the altruistic scheme which with the paired scheme came into effect last year with the HTA. You'll find a reference here at UK Transplant: http://www.uktransplant.org.uk/ukt/how_to_become_a_donor/questions/answers/answers_5.jsp and also here: http://www.uktransplant.org.uk/ukt/how_to_become_a_donor/living_kidney_donation/living_kidney_donation.jsp

    There's no web-based process for either but if you call the Organ Donor Line (0845 60 60 400) they should be able to give you more information and if necessary put you in touch with a Transplant Coordinator.

  18. At 09:28 AM on 20 Jul 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Andy and Peter - thanks for the info. Will definitely investigate further.

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