New organ opt-out legislation passes second reading by MPs

RED BOX | COMMENTFebruary 23 2018 12:01am The Times Why MPs must back opt-out organ donation today Geoffrey Robinson

Prime Minister Theresa May announced in October that England will move to an opt-out system, similar to those already adopted in Wales and Scotland.

Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price also confirmed that the Government would name the changes "Max's Law" after Max Johnson, a 10-year-old boy who was saved by a heart transplant from Keira Ball from Barnstaple.

The new system, which automatically opts patients into the donation scheme, would require those not wishing to donate to actively remove themselves from the list.

"Our best estimates are that this change will secure an additional 100 donors a year, which could lead to the saving of 200 extra lives", she said. Seven hundred and twenty-one of them are Utahns waiting for a life-saving organ to become available.

"Low family rates of consent have been one of the major barriers to the donor rate increasing".

Tory backbencher Dame Cheryl Gillan said she had changed her mind on the issue after seeing a friend's son struggle with a chronic liver disease.

Living kidney donation, as well as living liver donation, brings the gift of life to people who are staring death in the face.

"I can only begin to imagine the emotional rollercoaster that families and people waiting for organs must go through in the long and trying wait, which can be years".

More than 23 million people are on the organ donor register in the United Kingdom and donation rates hit a record high a year ago.

Today is a big day for the topic of organ donation in England, because a debate took place in the House of Commons regarding the topic of an opt-out system - also known as "presumed consent".

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