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Home Industry News Government consultation launched on new opt-out organ donation system

Government consultation launched on new opt-out organ donation system

12th December 2017

Public views are being sought on a new opt-out system for organ donation that the government wishes to introduce in England and Wales.

As confirmed by prime minister Theresa May in October, the Department of Health is planning to adjust the current approach to donor consent by assuming people are willing to donate their organs unless otherwise specified.

The consultation will gauge opinions on how this system will work, asking people how much say families should have in their deceased relatives' decision to donate their organs, as well as examining how the new system might affect certain groups depending on age, disability, race or faith.

It will also consider possible instances where exemptions to the opt-out approach might be needed, and what safeguards will be necessary to make the system work.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "It can be a difficult subject to broach, but overcoming this fatal reluctance to talk openly about our wishes is key to saving many more lives in the future."

At present, 80 percent of people say they would be willing to donate their organs, but only 36 percent register to become a donor. Switching to an opt-out model is expected to ensure more viable organs become available to NHS patients, saving thousands of lives.

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