08 October, 2009


Presumed consent

The just-released impressive figures for the number of people voluntarily carrying organ donation cards in the UK is unfortunately insufficient to meet the ever-rising demand. The news provides an opportunity for interested parties to call once again for the introduction of presumed consent, ie the requirement for those who do not wish to have their organs taken post mortem for transplant to explicitly opt out.

It occurs to me to wonder how this would play with medical staff. If you are a medical practitioner with experience of patients dying for lack of a transplant, how will that opt-out card, the one that says — for all manner of possible reasons that you have no access to and cannot and should not judge — that "I don't want to have my still-working bits nicked if I snuff it in A&E or in theatre, thank you very much", how will this impact, even subconsciously, on your attitude to and care for the "selfish bastard"?

Just a thought: slopes in the rear-view mirror may appear less slippery than they are.

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