According to a poll carried out for the BMA over 66% of the public believe that the UK should move to an 'opt-out' (presumed consent) system for organ donation. There are two different forms of 'opt-out':
a. organs are retrieved regardless of the wishes of the family, unless the person had registered an objection ( hard opt-out);
b. in the absence of any declaration from the deceased, the issue of donation would be discussed with the family ( soft opt-out).
Currently there are 14 European nations operating under a system of 'presumed consent'.
Austria,Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland Portugal, Slovak, Republic, Spain and Sweden. Does it work? In 2006, Abadie and Gay published a detailed regression analysis of 22 countries over 10 years taking into account a range of determinants that might affect donation rates. They concluded that “when other determinants of donation rates are accounted for, presumed consent countries have roughly 25-30% higher donation rates than informed consent countries."
Personally, I am very much in favour. Presently there are about 7,000 people on the waiting list and a severe shortage of organs. The sooner the government brings legislation forward in this area the better.