Or­gans can be taken from dead with­out any con­sent

Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Ben Spencer Med­i­cal Cor­re­spon­dent

OR­GANS will be trans­planted from the dead with­out con­sent in Bri­tain for the first time from to­day.

A land­mark law change in Wales gives doc­tors the right to as­sume that all adults con­sent to be or­gan donors af­ter their death.

It means that over-18s have to opt out from the reg­is­ter if they do not want to be donors – so far only 8 per cent have. Oth­er­wise they will be treated as if they had given their ap­proval.

Rel­a­tives will still have the right to ob­ject to a fam­ily mem­ber’s or­gans be­ing re­moved, but if they can­not be con­tacted a trans­plant will go ahead.

Of­fi­cials in Eng­land are mon­i­tor­ing whether the new sys­tem is suc­cess­ful. Some re­li­gious groups have crit­i­cised the move, which health ex­perts ar­gue will save hun­dreds of lives.

The Welsh Govern­ment pre­dicts the new law could in­crease the num­ber of donors by a quar­ter.

Fig­ures show that 1,000 peo­ple a year die in the UK while wait­ing for a donor and the num­ber of trans­plants dropped last year for the first time in a decade, to 4,431.

The Bri­tish Heart Foun­da­tion last night called for Eng­land to fol­low the Welsh lead.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Si­mon Gille­spie said or­gan do­na­tion rates in the UK are 40 per cent lower than in other Euro­pean coun­tries, such as Spain and Croa­tia, that al­ready use the opt-out sys­tem.

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