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I am writing to you as a constituent to raise my concerns regarding organ donation. It concerns me that the UK operates an ‘opt-in’ organ donor scheme where people have to register independently with the organ donor register. Organ donation is only possible in a limited number of situations and, because of this, it really is important that every consenting donor is able to make their wishes known so that they can help others after their own death. It is often the case that those wishing to donate their organs fail to register or to discuss the matter with their friends and family, so that medical staff and close relatives may not be aware of their wish to help others after their own death. This contributes to the serious deficit in the number of organs available to help those waiting for organ transplants. I believe that, instead, there should be a system of presumed consent supported by good public information, education and awareness of that system so that, if an individual has particularly strong objections to organ donation after death, then they are able make their feelings clear and opt out while they are alive. I am therefore asking you to support a system such as the British Medical Association’s suggested ‘soft’ system of ‘presumed consent’, whereby organ donation (for those over the age of 16) is the default position, but where relatives are told that the individual had not opted out and are asked if they are aware of any unregistered objection.
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