Gordon wants to go against the evidence and press ahead with presumed consent for organ donation.
Gordon Brown said he was still prepared to push ahead with new rules presuming people are happy to donate organs after death, despite the plans being rejected yesterday by an expert task force he appointed. The Prime Minister is backing a change in the law to assume patients have given automatic “presumed consent” for their body parts to be used after their death, unless they decide to opt out.
But the Government’s organ donation task force, which gauged the opinion of the medical profession, patients, lawyers, religious leaders and politicians, concluded there was not enough evidence to justify a move which could actually reduce the supply of organs. It warned that the change could undermine confidence in doctors and surgeons, particularly among families who might fear care for terminally ill relatives could be compromised. (the Independent)
Vivienne Parry, a member of the task force, wrote in the Times,
Over the past nine months, members of the organ donation task force have been considering whether Britain should adopt “presumed consent” – whereby all people are potential donors unless they actively opt out. Each of them, myself included, is committed to increasing the number of donors. All started with an open mind, with many – again I include myself – leaning towards the idea. But when we had reviewed everything we had heard, every single member opposed the introduction of presumed consent.
Why? In a word, evidence. This indicated that presumed consent would not increase the number of donors and might do the opposite. And increased numbers are the bottom line, not whether the public are “ready” for presumed consent – the bizarre suggestion of those Sunday clairvoyants who commented on the report before it appeared.
So why is Gordon pressing ahead? I can’t think there are many votes in it – I’ve never seen this in the top issues at election time. Is he in need of a brain transplant?