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Br J Community Nurs. 2009 Dec;14(12):544-7.

Consent to organ donation part 1: the current arrangements.

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School of Health Science, Swansea University.


The debate over how best to seek consent from people for the donation of their organs after death continues unabated. Despite a significant change in approach in seeking consent for donation introduced by the Human Tissue Act 2004 there has been little improvement in the numbers of harvested organs. This has led to calls by various organizations to adopt a more radical approach to consent for organ donation. The Welsh Assembly Government favours a presumed consent approach where a person is assumed to have consented unless they formally opt out, while more recently the Royal College of Physicians has changed its stance and is now calling for a system of mandated choice where a person is compelled to decide if they want to donate their organs. District nurses see first hand the need for an increase in the number of donated organs as they provide the care for those waiting for a transplant and so it is essential that they inform this debate. In the first of a short series of articles the current arrangements for consenting to the donation of organs are considered.

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