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Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Opt-out organ donation backed

19th October 2007

Findings from a new survey have suggested that a large proportion of the population supports the idea of presumed consent for organ donation.


The British Medical Association (BMA) quizzed more than 2,000 people in England, Scotland and Wales and found that two thirds felt the UK should move to an “opt-out? system when it comes to donating organs for transplant.

Under current rules, organs can only be taken from people who have actively chosen to be donors and carry donor cards.

But in the UK every year, several hundred people die while still on the waiting list for a transplant because of a national shortage of organ donors.

Just over 25% of those questioned said they were on the NHS Organ Donor Register but almost two-thirds said they would be willing to donate their organs for transplantation after their death.

A system of presumed consent would see everybody viewed as a potential donor unless they had registered an objection or opted out before death.

Dr Tony Calland, chairman of the BMA’s Medical Ethics Committee, said surveys show many people who are willing to donate organs never make their wishes known.

“The BMA believes that moving to a system of presumed consent, where it is assumed that people are willing to donate their organs after death unless they opt out, combined with other reforms to the transplant infrastructure, would play an important part in improving the organ donation system so that more lives can be saved,? he said.

UK Transplant welcomed the debate over the issue.


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