New organ opt-out legislation passes second reading by MPs

New organ opt-out legislation passes second reading by MPs

There are now 25 million people on the organ donation register, but with 6,500 people still waiting for a transplant it's hoped that changes in the law would save 500 lives a year.

Ministers confirmed they would support a Private Member's Bill to introduce presumed consent in England, following the move to an opt-out system in Wales.

Health minister Jackie Doyle-Price also confirmed that the Government would name the changes "Max's Law" after Max Johnson, a 10-year-old boy who was saved by a heart transplant.

Currently, anyone who wants their body to be used for transplants after death has to join the donor register but in future the system will be 'opt out'. The debate ended in good news, because the government has confirmed it will support a bill created to introduce such a system.

"Our best estimates are that this change will secure an additional 100 donors a year, which could lead to the saving of 200 extra lives", she said.

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Although the number of registered organ donors has risen from 14.1 million people to 23.6 million in the past decade, around 6,300 Britons are now on the waiting list for a transplant.

"Low family rates of consent have been one of the major barriers to the donor rate increasing". Seven hundred and twenty-one of them are Utahns waiting for a life-saving organ to become available.

Labour and Conservative MPs put aside party differences to sort out the Bill. "Around the country there are 50,000 people living with transplanted organs", she said.

Tory MP Peter Heaton-Jones said that Mr Ball's decision to allow Keira's organs to be used should serve as an "inspiration" to us all, adding that "more organs means more saved lives".

The proposed opt-out organ donation scheme has today passed its second reading in the House of Commons.

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