'Opt-out' plan for organ donation to be rolled out across England

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Britain plans to increase the number of organ donors by changing the rules of consent and presuming that people have agreed to transplants unless they have specifically opted out.

Research shows 82% of people support organ donation, yet only 37% have recorded their wishes on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

According to NHS records, only 7% of donors previous year were from BAME backgrounds, with Indians accounting for just 1.9%.

In 2017, 411 people died in Britain before the right donor was found, and more than 5,000 people are now on the waiting list in England.

However many over 50s don't join the NHS Organ Donor Register or tell their families they want to donate because they don't think their organs could help other people.

The legislation was introduced in Parliament last July and is expected to return to the House of Commons in the autumn.

Jackie Doyle-Price, parliamentary under-secretary of state for mental health and Inequalities said: 'Organ donation saves lives.

Those who do want to opt out will be able to do so by using a National Health Service (NHS) app to be launched at the end of the year.

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The register will also include an option for people to state their faith, if it is important to their decision.

Under the new plans, specialist nurses will be on hand to discuss donation with families after a loved one dies.

More people in Tyne and Wear are saving lives through deceased organ donation, latest figures have revealed.

"We want to continue to see ongoing engagement with the wider BAME and faith communities to ensure that the new system is fully understood and everyone can make an informed decision".

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "We're incredibly grateful to all the families in Tyne and Wear who have chosen to say "yes" to organ donation".

There will be a 12-month transition period to allow time for discussion with friends and family about organ donation preferences ahead of the new system coming into effect in spring 2020.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said introducing an opt-out system in England would reflect the views of the general public better.

They need lifetime support and care to ensure transplanted organs are not rejected and life with their new organ is lived well.

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