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The Government Confirms Support for Opt-Out Organ Donation Bill

The Government Confirms Support for Opt-Out Organ Donation Bill

Proposals for a change in the law on organ donation in England to ensure people have to opt out of being donors have passed a significant milestone in Parliament.

A change in the law would mean that people would be presumed to have given consent to donating their organs after death unless they explicitly opted out of the system.

"Our best estimates are that this change will secure an additional 100 donors a year, which could lead to the saving of 200 extra lives", she said.

Ms Doyle-Price said the current system meant lives are being lost "unnecessarily". Seven hundred and twenty-one of them are Utahns waiting for a life-saving organ to become available.

Although the number of registered organ donors has risen from 14.1 million people to 23.6 million in the past decade, around 6,300 Britons are now on the waiting list for a transplant.

As well as increasing the number of suitable donors, assumed consent could help tackle the persistent issue of family members refusing to allow donations to go ahead.

"1,000 people a year in this country, that is three a day, die while waiting for a transplanted organ".

Presenting his draft legislation in the Commons, Mr Robinson said: "We have some of the lowest rates of consent for organ donation in western Europe".

"Young or old, rich or poor, there is no differentiation when such things happen, and they highlight the reality of the need to change the law to deemed consent".

An opt-out system "would not only help to deliver an increase in organs available for donation, but also help to shift attitudes about organ donation", Robinson writes in The Times.

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