New or­gan do­na­tion sys­tem is wel­come


AF­TER years of tire­less lob­by­ing and cam­paign­ing by the BMA, Theresa May’s an­nounce­ment at the Con­ser­va­tive Party con­fer­ence to in­tro­duce an opt- out sys­tem for or­gan do­na­tion in Eng­land is wel­come news.

This will give hope to the pa­tients who anx­iously await news of whether they can have a trans­plant, and to their fam­i­lies, and should go some way to ad­dress­ing the se­vere short­ages of or­gans for do­na­tion across the West Mid­lands and through­out Eng­land.

In­deed, a re­cent BMA poll sur­vey of the pub­lic re­vealed that de­spite two- thirds of peo­ple say­ing they wanted to do­nate some or all of their or­gans, only a third were reg­is­tered to do­nate.

A change in the law to a soft opt- out sys­tem would there­fore fa­cil­i­tate a greater num­ber of or­gan do­na­tions and make it eas­ier for those wish­ing to do­nate to do so.

For the change in the law to reach its life- sav­ing po­ten­tial, it is vi­tal that the pub­lic are fully aware of the new process and that the po­ten­tial in­crease in trans­plants can be fa­cil­i­tated and matched with ad­e­quate re­sources.

There is a light at the end of the tun­nel and this could put an end to the num­bers of peo­ple who die need­lessly each year, so let’s get it right. Dr John Chisholm CBE, BMA Med­i­cal Ethics Com­mit­tee chair

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