Presumed Consent

  oresome 17:46 18 Nov 2008

Over the past nine months, members of the organ donation task force have been considering whether Britain should adopt “presumed consent” - whereby all people are potential donors unless they actively opt out.

The task force have come out against such a move believing it will not increase the number of organs made available and may erode patient trust in doctors.

A fear expressed by many was that doctors may be more interested in your body for spare parts, than actually saving your life. Other concerns raised included the security of data. Those that don't wish to donate organs for instance need to be assured of anonymity as there may be a social stigma attached to the decision and a fear they may be disadvantaged should it come to needing a donated organ themselves.

What do you think to the task force's decision?

I think it was correct.

  nangadef 17:55 18 Nov 2008

Yes, so do I.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 17:58 18 Nov 2008

I fail to understand the is not like you will need your body bits after death and the thought of burying (for the worms) or cremating a piece of useless junk, when people are desperate for organs, is incomprehensible to me. I carry a card that allows whoever to whip any part of my body away if I have departed this mortal coil based on the reasonable assumption that I am not likely to be wanting any of it and am unlikely to sue anyone for corporeal burglary.

I've always favoured carrying a card if you do not want a medical harvest, as those who do not wish this will tend to make sure that they have the required card whereas those who do not give a stuff tend to be lazy at times.


  john bunyan 18:10 18 Nov 2008

It surely would be relatively cheap and simple for GP's to ask patients to become donors at their next GP visit, and have a database. No need for expensive beurocracy.

  newman35 18:11 18 Nov 2008

Agree with you, what use are these organs to me when I'm dead, yet thousands die each year for want of one. Ridiculous.
Presumed consent is nothing but placing the onus on someone to NOT want their organs used. What's wrong with that? Those who want to can still opt out.

  newman35 18:13 18 Nov 2008

Surely just as easy to ask if they want to opt out?

  Forum Editor 18:41 18 Nov 2008

Spain has the highest organ donor rate in the world - three times what it is in the UK.

In Spain it is presumed that organs may be taken from any eligible donor unless it is known to be against the donor's express wish. Family members still have a power of veto however, and for that reason all Spanish hospitals have a team of specially trained people who talk to the relatives of potential donors.

The system works extremely well, and Spanish transplant coordinators say that an opt out system does not have any beneficial effect on organ numbers - they say that the best method is the one they use. They should know, and we should listen.

France also has a presumed consent system, but it doesn't produce as many organs per million people as Spain, and in fact is lower in the list than Australia, where it's rare for relatives to be approached about donation. Spain produces around 35 donors per million people, Australia has 22 per million, France has 20, Italy 18, and Germany 12. We manage to more or less equal Germany - there are around 13 donors per million people in the UK.

  lofty29 18:58 18 Nov 2008

I am to old for it to bother me, but if I were younger I would be one of the first to carry an opt out card, I do not agree with organ transplants from other people, and I think changing to automatic opt in is wrong, why should you considered to be in favour of something unless you state that you are not, if you want to be a donor you will carry the card simple. If I were given the choice of having an organ(not blood transfusion) transplant from another person or die I would say no thanks my times up. They would be far better excouraging cloning research to solve the problem.

  donki 19:42 18 Nov 2008

I am a donor and it shows on my Boots reward card, its always in my wallet if the worst should happen. This idea should maybe be considered by banks and credit card companies as everyone has either a credit or debit card.

  rowdy 20:08 18 Nov 2008

The Task Force highlighted the fact that the main difference between Britain and Spain was the provision of properly staffed and trained people and facilities. Spain apparently is well ahead of us in this respect.

They also stated that many donated organs are wasted due to these inadequate facilities.

Whilst I agree with those who strongly advocate the use of donor cards, presumption of agreement is not acceptable. The proper route is to persuade the nation to give consent on an individual basis.


  DrScott 22:31 18 Nov 2008

still does not have the stomach for this, and it is sad.

There is an issue that people will view doctors as if they are vultures, seeking organs in those that are brain dead.

Unfortunately, brain stem dead people look very much alive and it is difficult for families to accept that these patients are indeed dead.

Doctors will be accused of backing out for the sake of the organs, however untrue that may be. It's not a path the task force is willing to tread quite yet.

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