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Opt-out model of consent to organ donation

Following the introduction in Wales of an ‘opt-out’ system of organ donor registration, and Scottish ministers’ announcement earlier this year of plans to introduce ‘opt-out’, the British Medical Association’s long-held preference for such an approach received further support during this Autumn’s political conference season. 

Following the introduction in Wales of an ‘opt-out’ system of organ donor registration, and Scottish ministers’ announcement earlier this year of plans to introduce ‘opt-out’, the British Medical Association’s long-held preference for such an approach received further support during this Autumn’s political conference season. The Labour Party has given a strong indication that it will introduce an ‘opt-out system’ in England while the Conservatives have also promised a consultation. Of significant relevance to the political decision in England will be analysis of the impact of the Welsh model, according to which it is now assumed that if one has not registered either a willingness or unwillingness to donate, then one is deemed to have consented to donate organs. However, on the Welsh ‘soft opt-out’ model, donation will not proceed against the wishes of an unwilling family. Neutral observers will be interested to see evidence of whether any change in the number of donors can be attributed to the legal modification (deeming the absence of an expressed view to constitute consent) or, for example, to the public information programme accompanying the change in the law.

Read more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-consultation-on-organ-donation-opt-out-system