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'Opt out' system could solve donor organ shortage, says researcher
Date:10/31/2008

rs and their families. However, Dr Troyer believes this would be a dangerous step to take.

He said: "The reasoning behind regulating the organ trade is that by increasing the domestic supply of organs, the trade on the black market could be reduced.

"Another suggestion is that, instead of cash, families of deceased potential donors could be offered incentives to allow organ donation such as health insurance, funeral expenses or a gift to a charity.

"I believe that organ donation should remain altruistic like blood donation with the choice to opt out if preferred. This would make a big difference to the number of organs available and reduce the demand on the black market. It will also reduce the exploitation of poor people who sell their organs and endanger their health because they are desperate for money."

"Currently, the US has central organ database that matches available organs to patients on the waiting list. Whilst the UK has a national register of potential donors, there is no fast and easy way for doctors to check which organs are available."

He added: "Discussing death and dying is always going to be a taboo subject. The British are typically uncomfortable discussing death the only time people seem to want to talk about it is around Halloween!

"My father was in funeral industry so I grew up around dead bodies, which probably explains why I was drawn to studying the field I do.

"But having my background I almost feel it's my obligation to start the debate and get people thinking about the difficult issues surrounding death and dying."

Earlier this year, ministers backed proposals to overhaul the donation system, although presumed consent was not amongst the proposals. However, over the next two weeks, the Welsh Assembly is holding a series of public debates to discuss the need to introduce a system of presumed consent.


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Contact: Vicky Just
v.j.just@bath.ac.uk
44-012-253-86883
University of Bath
Source:Eurekalert  

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