Kidney Research UK welcomes the Government’s intentions to change the law on consent for organ donation in England but insists more must be done to improve prospects for transplant patients.
Under the new system (commonly known as ‘deemed consent’ or ‘opt out’), everybody would be considered a potential donor unless they have added their details to the NHS Organ Donor Register to say that they do not wish to donate their organs or are in one of the excluded groups.
This would be a similar system to Wales. It is going to take some time for the law in England to be changed.
The Government has indicated that the new system may be in place from April 2020.
Peter Storey, Communications Director for Kidney Research UK said: “We believe more needs to be done to improve organ donation rates across the UK and that a ‘soft’ system of presumed consent for organ donation would help combat the severe shortage of organ donors in this country.
“More research is vital to shorten the waiting list and make more of every donation opportunity. We have been funding research in this field for some time, but we want to see a step change in making transplanted kidneys work better and last longer.”
People can register their decision to save lives now by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register online now.
Organ and tissue donation saves or drastically improves the lives of thousands of people every year and there is very strong support for organ donation within the English population.
According to NHSBT over 80 per cent of adults in England say they would definitely, or would consider, donating their organs, but only 37 per cent of the UK population have registered as donors on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
However, at any one time there are around 6,000 people on the transplant waiting list and on average three people die each day in the UK in need of an organ transplant.
Over 80 per cent of those on the transplant waiting list are waiting for a kidney.