Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Britain to adop new opt-out system for organ donation

Britain to adop new opt-out system for organ donation

Jackie Doyle-Price, parliamentary under-secretary of state for mental health and inequalities, said: "Organ donation saves lives".

Under-18s, people with limited mental capacity and others who have not lived in England for at least a year prior to their death will be exempt from the scheme.

In Wales, a system of presumed consent is in operation and Scotland has also published a plan for an opt-out donation system.

Some 411 people in the United Kingdom died on the transplant waiting list in 2017.

The announcement came after a report called on the NHS to take more proactive action to address the high death rate among Indian-origin people in Britain due to low levels of organ donation within the community.

'But organ donation remains a gift.

Proposals include an option on the NHS organ donor register for people to state important religious and cultural beliefs to ensure they are respected and there will be strict safeguards in place.

Under the new plans, specialist nurses will be on hand to discuss donation with families after a loved one dies.


Those who do not want to donate their organs can record their decision on the Organ Donor Register.

The legislation was subsequently introduced past year, and will return to the House of Commons in the autumn to be voted on.

Dr Benn said the current system respected that "you know what you're doing and you're doing it because you want to save someone's life", he told Sky News on Saturday.

Up to 700 more lives could be saved each year by a new organ donation system which will aim to tackle donor shortages. "Of course, the reason why the government have shifted from the opt-in to the opt-out position is to increase donations - which is a good thing, but done in a way which is at risk of being done by slight of hand".

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: 'There is a desperate shortage of organ donors in the UK.

Northern Ireland will soon be the only part of the United Kingdom without an opt-out organ donation system, the Ulster Unionists have warned.

Asked by the news anchor whether it would give doctors licence to take your organs, the medical ethicist said: "Sometimes if there is no known wish a doctor can approach relatives and some relatives decide not to donate".

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