At the British Medical Association's annual conference, Doctors thrashed out the goal of 'presumed consent' for organ donation, which the BMA has been actively campaigning for last 12 years.
'Presumed consent' in the context of organ donation would mean an assumption that everybody is willing to donate organs unless they specify their decision not to do so.
AdvertisementAt the conference, some doctors challenged this campaign by the BMA on the grounds that 'presumed consent' may lead to breach of patient trust. Explaining her point, Dr Sharon Blackford, a dermatologist from Swansea, who does not agree with the BMA's goal of 'presumed consent' said: "If we move to presumed consent in could damage trust in doctors. If someone is ill in intensive care, families may feel doctors just want to harvest the organs. It also goes against the whole idea of the moment - putting patients in charge. People may start thinking about it differently and it could turn people off."
Dr Sharon further argued taking the example of Spain which had introduced 'presumed consent' in 1979 , an act which did not make much of a difference to organ donation.
Delegates at the conference were not convinced with this argument and held their ground that 'presumed consent' is only meant to save lives.
The organ donation rates in UK are not up to the mark. Nearly 8000 people are still in the waiting list for organs, and alarmingly three people die everyday in the United Kingdom because they did not receive the organs which would have saved their lives.