Systematic review: presumed consent for organ donation
How does policy affect rates of organ donation?
There are not enough donor organs to meet the demand in many countries, and the situation is expected to worsen. This is because people are living longer, and conditions such as type 2 diabetes, a common cause of end stage renal failure that needs transplantation, are increasing. The authors explain this background in their introduction.
In the United Kingdom an organ donation taskforce has been created to find ways to increase organ donation. It published its recommendations on one way of increasing donation, presumed consent, in November 2008. The authors prepared this systematic review to help the taskforce consider presumed consent for the UK.
Currently, in the UK people have to opt in if they want to donate their organs. In 2007 just 24% of the UK population were on the register, despite 90% being in favour of donation in general.1 This means doctors have to approach families in the