Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Scotland - hopefully - moving to presumed consent system for organ donations

I have been writing about this issue time and again. Many human lives are being lost because most countries operate a system whereby a deceased person's organs may only be extracted for transplant purposes if that person has given consent (ie joined some kind of organ donor registry). The thing is, most of us are simply too lazy to do so. A survey in the UK suggests that about 70% of people surveyed would be happy to see their organ utilised after their death to save someone else's life, yet only 25% of the same group of people was on the organ donor registry operated by the NHS. So, bravely a Scot MSP, George Foulkes, has suggested that Scotland introduces an opt-out regime. In opt-out regimes people must state explicitly that they do not wish their organs to be used for transplantation purposes, or else their consent is going to be presumed to exist. Reportedly, the Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon supports the opt-out regime. Such a change would be great news for Scotland! Preventable deaths would actually be prevented as a result of a switch from an opt-in regime to an opt-out regime.

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