Organ Donation

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At least 10 people die every day, while waiting for a major organ for example, heart, lungs or kidneys’, the reason being they is a massive shortage of organs across Europe, with the transplant waiting list growing, they is need for radical measures to be taken. The author of this easy will define what organ donation is, however the aims of the essay is to compare and contrast the two systems of organ donation, the opt- in and opt- out systems. The focus of the essay is on cadaveric donors,( heart beating donors and non- heart beating donors). The author will also go on to explore their personal views on organ donations, from before and after researching the topic and then reflect on how those views may have changed. Organ donation is defined as the donation of a biological tissue or organ of the human body, from a living or deceased person to a living recipient in need of a transplant. The removal of the organs is carried out in accordance with The Human Tissue Act (2004) who “regulate the removal, storage, use and disposal of the human bodies, tissues and organs”, (DOH ,2004).Organ donation is a complex issue, one which involves factors such as ethics, legal, organisational and societal factors. Much of the debate surrounding organ donation is the issue of consent /autonomy and trying to find ways to increase the number of potential organ donors. Do we choose to preserve the rights of the dead or those of people who are in pain? Across Europe they are two systems in practice, namely presumed consent (opt-out system) and informed consent (opt- in system).Although the two systems are different in practice, there main objective is the same, to increase the number of potential donors, which in turn would reduce the number of people on the waiting and the number of people who die while on the transplant waiting list.According to the at least 1000 people die every year while awaiting an organ. The main difference between these two systems is how they view consent, the opt –out system assumes consent, the state automatically assume that every individual is a willing potential donor unless they take explicit steps to make their objections known. They are two types of the opt- out system: soft opt -out and hard opt -out systems. The soft opt- out system the doctors will take into account the wishes of the family, especially in cases were the decision would cause distress to the family. Spain, France and Belgium are example of countries that practice this system. Hard opt –out system the doctors can remove organs unless the person had registered their objection, the views of the relatives are not taken into consideration, Austria, Switzerland and Poland practice this legislation. However regardless of what system is in practice it is viewed as good practice to seek consent from the families, example in Spain they will not remove organs from a deceased person, even though they can from a legal standing. Whereas opt-in system a potential donor has to take steps to make their wishes known by registering on the Organ Donor Register, this system is currently practiced in UK, New Zealand and other European countries. They also is a soft opt in system were the relatives have the final say, regardless of the deceased wish.

currently in the United Kingdom the organ donation policy requires potential donors to opt-in. the potential donor can do this either by registering via the internet, mail (filling in forms), telephoning and also when applying for a driving licence, then they would be issued with an organ donor card. However an organ donor card is not legally recognised, even though a person has made their wish known a family member can override that decision and also people do not always carry donor cards on their person. Within the current system there is a major shortage of organs for transplantation, as it stands they are around 8 000 people on the national transplant list, which has been reported to be increasing by 8% every...
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