Thursday, 11 April 2013

UK Donor Increase

Organ donation is in the news today. Since the Organ Donation Taskforce, which reported in 2008, there's been a significant increase in the number of registered donors and, consequently, in the number of transplants performed.

This is welcome news, but it shouldn't blind us to the fact that demand still exceeds supply, with three people dying each day in the United Kingdom because of a lack of transplant organs (figure from the BBC article, linked above). It's important to consider ways in which we might continue to do even better, including for instance an opt-out system.

It's also notable that, according to the first article, "Last year, 125 families overruled an individual's intention to donate". The UK's present system allows relatives of the deceased to override his/her expressed wishes. Whether this is justifiable or not ought, I think, to be more debated. It's an issue that we intend to examine in the next RSE workshop.

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