Presumed Consent for Organ Donation – Key 1995 Review available again

By | 7th February 2018

The regulation of organ donation is substantially devolved within the UK. The Welsh government has legislated to introduce a policy of presumed consent, which allows doctors to assume that a suitable patient would agree to the removal of their organs, unless they have previously recorded an objection. The Scottish government is planning to introduce a similar law and the English government is consulting on whether to do the same.  The last comprehensive policy analysis of this issue was published in 1995 by the Kings Fund Institute, under the title: ‘A Question of Give and Take: Improving the supply of donor organs for transplantation’ by Bill New, Michael Solomon, Robert Dingwall, and Jean McHale. The broad conclusion was that presumed consent was unlikely to increase the supply of organs, which has been borne out by the Welsh experience to date, but had risks of provoking conflict with some faith groups and weakening trust in the medical profession. The report has long been out of print and hard to obtain but, in the light of the renewal of the debate, has now been scanned and made available at this location.

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