Theresa May has today announced in her conservative party speech that an opt-out organ donation system will be introduced in England, instead of the current opt-in system.
Wales introduced legislation for an opt-out system for organ donation in 2015 and in July this year, the Scottish Government announced plans to follow suit with the introduction of a ‘soft opt-out’ system of organ and tissue donation in Scotland.
Today's news is welcome. PSC is now the reason for more than 11% of all liver transplant operations performed in the UK - second only to alcohol-related liver disease and liver cancer. With no medical treatment, a liver transplant is the only hope for some PSC patients with advanced liver disease. Thankfully, the number of transplant operations being performed year-on-year are increasing, together with a rise in donor registrations. However, the supply of suitable donor organs does not meet demand.
Moving towards an opt-out system is an opportunity to bring the value and importance of organ donation directly into the public eye and and begin to shift our society's attitude so that organ donation becomes the expectation and the norm.