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Home Industry News Presumed consent for organ donation under scrutiny

Presumed consent for organ donation under scrutiny

20th September 2007

Health secretary Alan Johnson has asked the organ donation taskforce to assess whether adults should introduce an opt-out system for the organ donor register.

‘Presumed consent’ has been proposed following increased strain on the organ donor register with many organs in high demand but supply not meeting this.

Mr Johnson insisted: “I want to see organ donation and transplant rates start to rise and match the rates seen in some other European countries enabling us to save many more lives.”

He went on to recount that the chief medical officer had initially proposed a move to presumed consent and the organ donation taskforce would now explore the option in greater detail.

Elisabeth Buggins, the chair of the organ donation taskforce stated her delight in being asked to look into an important issue.

She confirmed that the task force would examine the “complex medical, ethical, legal and societal issues” involved in bringing in an opt-out system.

In July the chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson called for changes in the organ donation system that would automatically assume people had given consent for their body parts to be used.

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