Saw this pop up on New Scientist...
Should doctors assume that people are happy to donate their organs unless they make the effort to opt out?
That's the scenario being considered in the UK, as a means of reducing the widening gap between supply and demand for donated organs. At the moment, a dead person's organs cannot be taken unless they registered themselves in life as a donor.
"Around 8000 people in the UK need an organ transplant [each year], but only 3000 transplants are carried out," said UK health minister Alan Johnson on 20 September, announcing a reappraisal of "presumed consent" by the government.
The British Medical Association (BMA) welcomes the rethink. "We believe that a system of presumed consent, with safeguards, will help to increase the number of donors available," says Vivienne Nathanson, head of ethics at the BMA.
The answer, obviously, is yes. The dead don't need their kidneys, or hearts or anything else, the living should take what they need.
Sadly every time this does make the rounds, it's always the same, some right-wing, usually religious organisations have a whinge about it and the plans are shelved. This time let's shelve the religious nuts and save some people's lives.
I'd also however, like to see the opt-out reversible if it will save someone's life, somebody shouldn't be dying in a bed opposite a corpse who thought that they need their lungs in the afterlife.