October 2010: Organ donation e-consultation

Should the organ donation register be switched to an opt-out system? – Your response

Thank you to everyone who took part in my most recent e-consultation : Should the organ donation register be switched to an opt-out system?

With more than 100 replies more than 2 thirds of the respondents were in favour of such switching to an opt-out system.

  • 67% of those polled answered Yes.
  • 33% of those polled answered No.

Common arguments for the proposal included:

  • Changing the system to opt-out means those individuals who may never have previously thought about donating will consider it.
  • An opt-out system will mean more organs are available for transplant, saving lives.
  • Awareness will be raised with more information about the patients waiting for a life-changing donation.

Common arguments against the proposal included:

  • Donating organs for transplant should be a positive decision that each individual makes, not a default.
  • The money needed to legislate, debate, promote, manage the opt-out scheme could easily be spent on promoting/seeking `opt-in` donors.
  • The system could be open to abuse, with pressure not to give care to some individuals so their organs could be used.

Overall, the consultation proved to be a fascinating indicator of public opinion on such a controversial issue. There was an understandably high level of support for the compulsory donation.

Many thanks to everyone who voted, and to those who replied with comments.

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