The vote to change the laws surrounding organ donation has once again turned a spotlight on the vital issue of making our final wishes clear to loved ones. The House of Commons vote to change organ donation laws in England to an opt-out system follows a public outcry over the fate of the 6,500 sick Brits on the transplant waiting list.
Around 1,100 families denied consent last year – many because they were unsure of their deceased relatives’ wishes.
Now the man behind a direct cremation company shaking up the funeral industry is urging families to wake up to the importance of making their end-of-life plans known to loved ones.
Bryan Powell, who set up Pure Cremation with his wife Catherine, said: “When it comes to the uncomfortable subject of death we often don’t know how to get the conversation started.
“More than two-thirds of us (67 per cent) say it’s incredibly important that our final wishes are carried out after we die.
“Yet only a quarter of us tell our family about our wishes about organ donation consent and preferred funeral arrangements.
“Confusion over these things can lead to uncertainty, family tension and even spark feuds at the worst possible time.
“The changes to organ donation consent highlight the importance of expressing your wishes before you go – giving more families the confidence they’re doing the right thing when the time comes.”
Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn both backed the change in the law. Four in five people say they would donate their organs but less than half that number have registered.
A direct cremation is an alternative to a traditional funeral where the body is collected and cremated in the days immediately following the death, without a funeral service at the crematorium.
While traditional burials or cremations are often formal and follow a rigid formula, a direct cremation changes the dynamic by allowing families to go straight to the most meaningful bit – the wake.
Now families can take control, and take all the time they need to plan a more personal send-off when and where is right for them.
By ripping up the rulebook and taking a completely fresh approach, Pure Cremation is already beginning to transform the funeral sector.