BHF calls for ‘soft opt-out’ donor system to be rolled out across UK
December 7 2015
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is calling for the deemed consent organ donor system introduced in Wales to be rolled out across the UK.
Wales introduced a ‘soft opt-out’ organ donor system on December 1. It means that “people aged 18 and over who have lived in Wales for more than 12 months and who die in Wales will be regarded as having consented to organ donation unless they have opted out,” said the Welsh Government.
“People who want to be an organ donor can register a decision to opt in or do nothing, which will mean they have no objection to being an organ donor. Those people who do not want to be organ donor can opt out at any time.”
The move is expected to increase the number of organ donors by 25%. BHF pointed out that organ donation rates are up to 40% lower in the UK compared with other countries in Europe that already use the opt-out system such as Spain and Croatia.
Simon Gillespie, BHF Chief Executive, commented: “Other European countries that already use an opt-out system have much higher donor rates than the UK. We believe introducing a soft opt-out system, accompanied by awareness raising, education and investment in infrastructure will help increase organ donation rates in the UK and save more lives.
“We campaigned strongly in Wales to introduce soft opt-out and now it’s time for the rest of the UK to follow their lead.”
The NHS organ donation register website is currently undergoing beta-testing.