The 18th year of the Michael Fabricant MP – Arthur Price of England Schools Speaking Competition was won by the team from King Edward VI School Lichfield while the Best Speaker was a student from Chase Terrace Technology College. The Motion debated was: "That this House believes that organ donation registers should change from being an opt-in to an opt-out system.2 Both Schools spoke in favour of the Motion. Four schools competed this year in this annual competition held on Friday night (24th February) in the Guildhall in Lichfield.
"This was an incredibly topical debate" says Michael Fabricant. "Although the subject of the debate was determined months ago, the Government are only now considering proposals to do just this. Speakers in the competition pointed out that while over 90% of the population are in favour of organ donation after death, only around 20% of the population have bothered to register. A straw poll of the audience in the Guildhall in Lichfield after the debate took place revealed that while almost all those present were in favour of organ donation, only one third had actually registered. And around two-thirds favoured a swap from an opt-in to an opt-out system of organ donation.
"The stardard of debate was extremely high and fully engaged the audience. The debate in some cases was as high as that in the House of Commons and considerably politer!" Michael adds. "I am particularly grateful to Lichfield City Council for providing the refreshments and all the pomp and ceremony required to emulate a House of Commons sitting. And thanks too are due to Rotary Club of Lichfield St Chad for their assistance."
Until an opt-out system is chosen – and no decision has been made yet – you can register to donate at www.organdonation.nhs.uk