Sunday, 13 January 2008

Vote: Should the UK enter into a system of presumed consent for organ donation?

Gordon Brown is said to be considering a system of "presumed consent" in which everyone is a potential donor unless they opt out. Mr Brown said:

"A system of this kind seems to have the potential to close the aching gap between the potential benefits of transplant surgery in the UK and the limits imposed by our current system of consent."
Lib Dem MP Dr Evan Harris, chair of All-Party Kidney Group and member of the BMA Medical Ethics Committee said:

"Under an opt-out scheme donor's real wishes will be more often respected, more lives would be saved and grieving relatives will be spared the experience of making the wrong decision at the worst time."
However, Joyce Robins from Patient Concern is not so optimistic, saying that presumed consent turned volunteers into conscripts:

"Presumed consent is no consent at all. We've worked for years to get a system of proper, informed consent in the health service in this country and Gordon Brown is willing to throw it all out of the window."
Health Secretary Alan Johnson said:

"Last year around 2,400 people in the UK benefited from an organ transplant, but more than 1,000 people die every year waiting for a transplant."
Q. Should the UK enter into a system of presumed consent for organ donation?

This vote has closed - Click: HERE to see the results.

(The results are archived by the British Library)


IanP said...

Steve, Good to see the DR back. Thanks.

My own view on your questions is that only the individual can make that decision to donate.

The government or the state has no rights over my body, before or after my death.

I belong to no-one but myself, the state is far too presumptuous and forgets its position as public servant not master.

Daily Referendum said...


My opinion has changed drastically on this subject over the last year. I used to be all in favour of presumed consent, but this government seem so hell bent on removing our liberties, that our bodies may be one of the few things that we can truly call ours.

View from the Solent said...

I am curently registered as a voluntary donor (and carry a kidney donor card). If this is more than just a smokescreen attempting to hide Hain, I will become a registered non-donor and my card goes into the bin. I am not an animal in a state organ farm.

Daily Referendum said...


It does seem a little convenient that this subject has raised its ugly head just as Peter Hain ducks his. If it is a smokescreen then most of the media have fallen for it. The Beeb seem to have jumped for it.

William Gruff said...

No one has any right to the affections, love, loyalty, respect, regard, body, soul heart or mind of another.

How typical of the state to tell us that it will decide what is done with us in death, and how typical of those who depend on the state to believe that is the responsibility of the state to do all it can to prolong and enrich their miserable lives.

Death claims us all at some time or another, and most die unpleasantly. Nothing can alter that, no matter how fervently we believe in the long obsolete concept of progress nor how many of our freedoms are destroyed in slavish obedience to it.

Daily Referendum said...

Most eloquent yet again Mr Gruff (and no, I'm not taking the p*ss)

Maybe if the government stopped wasting our bloody money and spent some of it advertising the fact that we have a shortage of donors, then maybe more people would register.

Anonymous said...

It is utterly immoral to manipulate the population into becoming donors by using an opt-out procedure. Of course, we will get all the usual emotional outpourings telling us how wicked we are to opt out, and how cruel we are to deny life to someone else.
No-one has mentioned the likelihood of "organ overload"...compulsory organs removal will result in thousands of weekly offerings of liver, heart, etc....much of which will be chucked away because the tissue-typing can't match it with a recipient.

Beaman said...

I voted 'Yes'. If people do not want their organs possibly being donated after death then it's a simple procedure to opt-out.

Unfortunately opting out is not possible for patients on death row waiting desperately for a healthy heart or kidney.

Mrs Smallprint said...

My body my choice.