Azara Blog: Doctors want to make organ donation opt-out instead of opt-in

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Date published: 2007/09/20

The BBC says:

Health Secretary Alan Johnson has asked advisers to look at whether everyone in England should be put on the organ donor register unless they opt out.

The move has been recommended by England's chief medical officer to tackle the chronic shortage of organs.

But the proposal to force people to opt out of the system, as opposed to voluntarily opting in, is contentious.

"This is a sensitive issue," Mr Johnson said, but he stressed it was "vital" all possible options were explored.

There are currently more than 8,000 people in the UK who need an organ donation but only 3,000 transplants are carried out each year. It is estimated that one person dies each day waiting for an organ.

Only 24% of the population - or 14.6 million - are on the register, despite the fact that in surveys as many as 90% of people say they want to donate their organs after death.

The incompetence of the State in getting people onto the register is no excuse for shifting the burden of action from the State to the people.

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