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Law Amendment Aimed at Boosting Organ Donations Results in Decreased Transplants

Credits: Lompoc Valley Medical Center

A law change to increase organ donation has resulted in fewer patients receiving transplants, The Mail on Sunday has learned. The new rules in England, which came into force in May 2020, mean everyone is presumed to be an organ donor when they die unless they have ‘opted out.’

Officials said the change would lead to at least 100 extra donors and 230 more transplants yearly, ensuring fewer patients would die waiting for an organ.

Surgeons during a Surgery Procedure (Credits: Medical Xpress)

However, NHS Blood and Transplant figures reveal nine percent fewer transplants occurred last year than before the change. The number of donors has fallen by ten percent since 2019/20, and the waiting list for a new organ has rocketed by 28 percent.

Experts have pointed to a drop in consent rates from families, who still have the final say over whether a loved one’s organs can be used.

Various Organs for Donation (Credits:

But politicians and charities say officials have failed to employ enough specialist transplant nurses or address problems in over-stretched transplant units, meaning donor organs that become available are turned down if there is no theatre space.

Labor peer Lord Hunt, who steered the law through the House of Lords, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I had great hopes we would see a real upturn in the number of donations.’

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