Organ ‘opt-out’ donation system in England by 2020

Maricruz Casares
Agosto 7, 2018

The law would see the system change to an opt-out scheme, where people will be assumed to be willing to donate organs after death unless they have said otherwise.

UUP health spokesman Roy Beggs MLA yesterday welcomed the announcement from the Government that a new system for organ donation will be in place across England by 2020.

The opt-out system will exclude children under 18, individuals who lack the mental capacity to understand the changes and people who have not lived in England for at least 12 months before their death.

The move comes after 411 people in the United Kingdom died while waiting for a transplant in 2017.

The new consent model will allow individuals to record "religious faith needs" on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

However, medical ethicist Dr Piers Benn raised several issues arising from the Government legally changing all Britons to presumed organ "donors", saying that it may leave some people feeling "cheated" and "uncomfortable" with what has hitherto been treated as a "gift".

However many over 50s don't join the NHS Organ Donor Register or tell their families they want to donate because they don't think their organs could help other people.

Doyle-Price added: "We know this new system alone is not a magic bullet".

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It has been adopted to tackle donor shortages and is meant to shift the balance of presumption in favour of organ donation, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

Those who do want to opt out will be able to do so by using a National Health Service (NHS) app to be launched at the end of the year.

The legislation was introduced in Parliament last July and is expected to return to the House of Commons in the autumn.

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "We're incredibly grateful to all the families in Tyne and Wear who have chosen to say "yes" to organ donation".

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

He said: "This will also ease the agonising pain felt by many families who risk losing a loved one while they wait for an organ".

The country began a voluntary organ donation trial in 2010 and promoted the practice across the country in 2013.

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