In UK, organ donation could be automatic
Jul 17,2007 00:00 by UPI
LONDON -- All United Kingdom residents should automatically be considered organ donors unless they specifically object, the country's head doctor said Tuesday.

Under current British law, people are only organ donors if they sign up to participate. But that has led to a shortage of organs in the country, with one person dying each day while waiting for a transplant, said chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson.

Wealthier patients, he said, purchase organs abroad, though it can be risky, The Daily Telegraph reported.

To address the problem, Britain should place everyone on the list of organ donors unless they ask to be removed, Donaldson said, since such programs have been successful in increasing the availability of organs in other countries.

The British Medical Association supports the measure, but some patients' rights group say such a system would pressure patients to give what should be a voluntary gift.

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