Saturday, August 24, 2013

Organ donation in Britain: will it follow Israel's lead?

The idea of encouraging people to register as organ donors by giving some priority to registered donors for receiving organs should they need them is still under discussion in Britain, motivated in part by the Israeli experience.  Here's a story from the Telegraph:
Registered organ donors could be given priority for transplants
"Patients who have agreed to donate organs could be given priority if they ever need a transplant, under proposals being considered by the NHS.
"In a report published today (THURS) NHS Blood and Transplant published a new plan to improve organ donations.
"The report floats one approach where patients already on the Organ Donor Register would be given higher priority for transplants should they need one.
"Professor James Neuberger, associate medical director at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “They do this in Israel and it has encouraged donation.
“It was first introduced in Singapore. While they don’t exclude those who don’t donate, it gives priority to those who are on the donor register.
“Whether it is appropriate for the UK is up for debate and discussion.”
"Any move to prioritise patients on the donor register would require a decision by ministers and a change in organ allocation rules."
The subject will be debated at the upcoming National Donation and Transplantation Congress, which is being held at the University of Warwick in early September.

Here's the announcement of the debate, with Jay Lavee, the Israeli heart transplant surgeon who has been at the heart of the change to priority in Israel speaking in favor (and presumably some of the others speaking against...)
The David Price Memorial Lecture / Debate: Should we have to give in order to receive? 
Chair:   James Neuberger
Speakers:  Jacob Lavee  – Israel
  Kevin Gunning -  Intensive Care Society
  Anthony Warrens – British Transplantation Society

  Penney Lewis – UK Donation Ethics Committee
Here is the UK Organ Donation and Transplantation site, and here are some links to the NHS Blood and Transplant Service documents on current proposals:

Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020
Here's the accompanying full report (pdf)

The table is from that report, summarizing the goals and current situation.

Here's an earlier post  of mine on this subject.

Here are other earlier posts following Jay Lavee's work

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