The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has stated that he would like a national debate about the system of organ donation that operates within the UK. Britain currently operates a system of ‘opt in’, whereby those who wish to become an organ donor have to register their wishes accordingly.
However, some countries, including Spain, operate a system of ‘opt out’, whereby everyone is presumed to be an organ donor unless they have registered their wishes not to be. There are currently over 8000 people on the UK transplant waiting list and many die each year whilst waiting for an organ transplant. It has been argued that this system of presumed consent will increase the availability of human organs for transplantation.
Government reports are due out this week and later in the year. However, if such changes are implemented it will obviously have implications for society as a whole and health professionals, particularly those working in acute care areas.
What are your thoughts on this issue?