Give me your organs

The UK currently has an opt-in system for organ donation. That means that unless you have specifically opted-in to donate your organs after you die, the NHS cannot have them. Sort of. Actually, whether you are signed up or not, they just ask the family. The NHS advice that making your views clear can be helpful. But actually, it is fairly irrelevant.

So a graph like this might look pretty scary:


But actually, it is not a complete disaster, because they will just ask the family anyway. I still think it would be worthwhile for the UK to switch to an opt-out system though. In general, you get higher donation rates in countries with an opt-out system.


If they also just ask the next of kin, it is not immediately obvious why this should be the case. Perhaps the relatives are less likely to say no if they do not feel the individual felt strongly enough to opt out, or perhaps there is just a general culture of that being the done thing. I am just speculating, I have no idea.

To me though, I wonder why there would be an opt-out at all?

What is the point? I cannot think of a good reason why the NHS should not just have a free right to help themselves to my organs after I am dead.

Perhaps you could make the argument that the family don’t like the idea. Or that it makes some people uncomfortable with the idea that their organs will be removed after they are gone. But organ donations save lives. Are these the reasons that are worthy of condemning someone to death? I would argue they are not.



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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 at 11:31 am and is filed under Religion & Politics, Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.