Organ Donation Opt-in or Opt-Out That Is the Question

Topics: Organ transplant, Organ donation, Legal death Pages: 6 (2523 words) Published: July 13, 2011
Organ Donation
Opt-in or opt-out that is the question
This assignment will help us explore and understand the concepts of both the opt-in system of organ and tissue donation and the opt-out system, which I will compare and contrast through looking at both systems used in different countries throughout Europe. And also I will look at how they relate to beneficence and non-maleficence.  

 The opt-in system is based on the view that every person has a choice whether or not to go on the organ donation register, and in this system of donation in most cases the family or another person close of the person who is dying will have the last say whether or not any organs or tissues can be taken.  

There is then the opt-out system or presumed consent that works on the premise that unless you state that you do not want to donate tissues or solid organs, they can be taken without consent, in most European countries that have this system of donation the families are consulted before any organs or tissues are taken.  

We will also look at my views and beliefs on organ donation at the start of the essay and how I have come to have them; I probably have a very beneficencial view around the subject, as I would like to think when I die someone else may benefit from my gift of donation.  

With my old views taken into account I will then strongly critique them, and with an open mind look at the whole picture to see which system I think would be the best option in my opinion, my views may well stay the same as when I first started.  

Then when I have looked at both systems in depth and got a greater understanding of how they both work, I will try to offer a reflection on how my views, and if they have changed I will convey how this has come about.

Whilst looking at the opt-in and the opt-out systems, we have to bear in mind that both are there for the same reason and that is the saving of lives through donation.

  The UK and other countries around Europe, Germany being one use the opt-in system, which uses the medium of advertising to entice and prick the conscience of people to join the organ donor register (ODR), and as this may be a very good way of attracting new members onto the (ODR) people still seem not to join, this may sometimes be put down to forgetfulness or just to the fact that a lot of people just do not want to think about dying. This does seem to be a major stumbling block where getting people on the (ODR), is concerned. This does leave close relatives with big decisions to make at a very traumatic time.  A survey was undertaken in 2007 in the UK and showed that 70% of people that were asked if when they died would give their organs or tissues for transplantation but only 20% were on the Organ Donor register (The Guardian). This seems to show that the opt-out system would probably work better in this country as it would not really matter if they forgot to join the register. There has been a lot talk in Wales recently about reviewing their opt–in system to the opt-out system which they think would benefit their country by freeing up a lot of organs for transplantation, as in the UK there are approximately 8000 people on the waiting list, and this contributes to three deaths every week, one of those deaths in Wales every eleven days, this is due to the shortage of organs, so by going to the opt-out system they feel they would be able to save a great number of extra lives. (The Guardian).

Although in the opt-in and soft opt-out system the family members or close friends would be asked about what they thought about the donation of the organs of the dying person, it is out of courtesy, because by law if you carry a donor card and have made your wishes known that you want to donate your organs, the family cannot stop and some would probably say should not stop the process. (Human tissue act 2006)  Whereas the opt-out system or presumed consent does not totally rely on advertising, it works more on the premise...
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