England may switch to "opt out" for organ donations

5th October 2017

Teresa May has hinted at new changes to the current organ donation system in her latest Conservative Party speech.

Currently in England people have to choose to donate their organs when they die through the donor card scheme.

But, in an opt-out system to opposite would become necessary - people would have to actively register their wish NOT to donate their organs.

The new proposals have come to light after a government consultation found 82% of people were in favour and recent changes have seen Wales adopt an opt-out system in 2015 and Scotland following suit earlier this year.

There are currently 6,500 people on the transplant list but an average of three people a day die because they do not get one.

The Department of Health confirmed there would be a 12-week consultation later this year after the policy was mentioned by Prime Minister Theresa May in her speech to the Conservative Party conference.

Mrs May said: "Our ability to help people who need transplants is limited by the number of organ donors that come forward.

"So to address this challenge that affects all communities in our country, we will change that system - shifting the balance of presumption in favour of organ donation."

Joel Rose, Cardiomyopathy UK’s chief executive commented, “If England follows Wales and Scotland in making these changes it will be good news for those people waiting desperately for a heart transplant. We know that cardiomyopathy is one of the leading reasons for heart transplantation and that there are simply not enough organs available to meet demand. The proposed changes will lead to more people making an active decision about whether or not they wish to become an organ donor and communicating their wishes with their loved ones.”