Britain’s official advisory body on organ donation – the Organ Donation Taskforce (ODT) – is expected to reject Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s proposal to “make everyone a potential organ donor unless they actively ‘opt out’”, the Times have reported.

The ODT was established in 2006 to identify barriers to organ donation and recommend actions needed to increase organ donation and procurement within the current legal framework, according to its website.

According to the Times’ report, more than 8,000 people are on the waiting list for donor organs in Britain, but only 3,000 transplants are carried out each year.

Singapore is one of the countries which have introduced the “opt-out” scheme where those who do not want their organs donated will have to opt-out. Otherwise they are presumed to have given consent.

Below is an extract from the Times report. Read the full article here.

Brown’s organ donor plan is rejected by scientists

Plans by Gordon Brown to make everyone a potential organ donor unless they actively “opt out” will be roundly rejected by the Government’s official advisory body next week, The Times has learnt.

The Prime Minister and the Chief Medical Officer for England believe that thousands of lives could be saved by introducing “presumed consent” – where everyone is automatically placed on the organ donor register unless they or their family object.

However, an official review by the Organ Donation Taskforce will conclude next week that a change in the law is not warranted, despite support for the move among doctors and some patient groups.

It will place the Prime Minister at odds with advisers from the medical and scientific community for the second time in a year, after the decision to reclassify cannabis as a “class B” drug, in defiance of recommendations from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.


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