'Presumed consent for organ donation must be UK-wide'

All four UK CMOs agree that the introduction of presumed consent for organ donation would have to be a UK-wide policy to work.

Speaking at the RCGP annual conference in Edinburgh, Scotland’s CMO Dr Harry Burns said: ‘It might be difficult to manage if one part of the UK is different from the other.’

But he said any such change in policy would need to have 100 per cent public backing.

Deputy CMO for England, Dr Bill Kirkup agreed, adding that raising awareness of the organ donation issue was a positive step in itself, even if there was no change in policy.

A show of hands among GP delegates attending the question and answer session showed that the majority were in favour of presumed consent.

Deputy CMO for Wales, Professor Mike Harmer, highlighted that service infrastructure would need to be addressed in the event of any policy change, in order to cater for the sudden increase in donated organs that would result.

monika.polak@haymarket.com

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