Organ donation: new special collection in Anaesthesia
A new special collection published today in the journal Anaesthesia focuses on organ donation in the UK, including research suggesting that the incoming changes in the organ donation law in England could boost the number of organs available for transplantation.
The law on organ donation is changing in England on 20 May 2020. The new law means that all English adults are being considered organ donors when they die unless they have previously ‘opted out’ by recording a decision not to donate, or belong to an excluded group.
Research published in the Anaesthesia special collection suggests that this ‘opt-out’ system may increase consent rates for organ donation after death, which could boost the number of organs available for transplantation. The study compared quarterly data on consent rates for deceased organ donation in Wales, where an ‘opt-out’ system has been in place since 2015, versus England.
The collection also includes articles on:
- The current status of organ donation after brain death in the UK;
- Permanent brain arrest as the sole criterion of death in systemic circulatory arrest;
- Examining consent for interventional research in potential deceased organ donors;
- Optimisation of the organ donor and effects on transplanted organs;
- The rise of organ donation after circulatory death in the UK.
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation, said:
“We hope that the new law encourages more people to record their donation decision and talk about organ donation with their families. It is important for people to know that they can do this at any time before or after the law comes into effect, there is no deadline for making your donation decision.
“The majority of people tell us that they support organ donation in principle, yet only around 4 in 10 have actually registered their decision.
“Organ donation is and always will be a precious gift and if more people are inspired to support and agree to donation, then many more lives can be saved.”