Soft opt-out donor system could save more lives

1 December 2015        

An image of surgeons carrying out heart surgery

We are calling for the ‘soft opt-out’ organ donor system to be adopted across the UK to “save more lives” as Wales becomes the first UK nation to use deemed consent.

Organ donation rates are up to 40 per cent lower in the UK compared with other countries in Europe that already use the opt-out system such as Spain and Croatia.

Wales has become the first part of the UK to implement the soft opt-out system in a bid to increase the number of organ donors.

There is a current desperate shortage of heart donors and moving to the soft opt-out system could help save more lives.

Evidence suggests that countries that already use presumed consent, have a much higher donor rate. Heart transplant rates in countries that use opt-out such as Croatia, Belgium and France, are more than double the rate in the UK.

Desperate shortage of donors

Simon Gillespie, our Chief Executive, said: “Sadly hundreds of people die every year waiting for a transplant because there is a desperate shortage of organ donors.

“Other European countries that already use an opt-out system have much higher donor rates than the UK.

“We believe introducing a soft opt-out system, accompanied by awareness raising, education and investment in infrastructure will help increase organ donation rates in the UK and save more lives.

“We campaigned strongly in Wales to introduce soft opt-out and now it’s time for the rest of the UK to follow their lead.”

Join the organ donor register

We support changing organ donation to a soft opt-out system, where everyone is considered to want to donate their organs unless they state otherwise. 
You can join the organ donor register and find out more information below.

Sign the register