May 29, 2024

British PM drops “opt-out” proposal for organ donation

He was just flying a kite, says spokesman

The British Prime Minister, Gordon
Brown, has backed away from his robust advocacy of presumed consent
for organ donation. Only a few days ago he wrote in the London
that he favoured a system like Spain’s "to close
the aching gap between the potential benefits of transplant surgery
and the limits imposed by our current [opt-in] system of consent”.
The idea was not well received in the media. Now health secretary
Alan Johnson says that the PM was just sending up a trial balloon for
a national debate. instead the government has accepted the idea
proposed by a taskforce of promoting donation throughout the UK, a
move which apparently will boost transplants by 1,200 a year. In any
case, says the government, it now appears that the secret of Spain’s
success in encouraging organ donation is not presumed consent on its
own, but a network of coordinators and doctors. ~ Guardian, Jan 17