Commenting on the report of progress made in the first year of the Organ Donation Taskforce Implementation Programme, Chairman of the BMA's Medical Ethics Committee, Dr Tony Calland, said:
"The BMA is delighted to hear that so much has been achieved in the last year and that the changes being put in place are beginning to deliver more donated organs and more transplants. We are also very pleased that there has been a 7% increase in people signing up to the UK Organ Donor Register. We would like to thank everyone who has signed the register and made the decision to allow their organs, or those of their loved ones, to be used after death in order to save another individual's life. It's an amazing gift.
"There is still much to do, however, and we cannot be complacent. We very much hope the 50% increase in donation rates, predicted by the Organ Donation Taskforce, will be achieved in the next five years. But there will still be a shortage of donors and people will still be dying waiting for an organ. Now is the time to have a serious debate about changing to a system of presumed consent (opt-out) for organ donation. In our view having a well organised and funded infrastructure, combined with a system of presumed consent, is still the best way forward."