Glasper, Edward Alan
Prime Minister backs concept of presumed consent
Journal of Children's and Young People's Nursing, 2, (2), .
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The parents of children with chronic illnesses, where future transplant might be necessary to prolong life, will have applauded the overt stance as reported in the Mail on Sunday in January 2008 (http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=507945&in_page_id=1770) of Prime Minister Gordon Brown regarding his support for the collection of potential organs for transplant from deceased patients, predicated on the concept of presumed consent. Mr Brown, himself the parent of a child with cystic fibrosis, has endeavoured to raise the level of debate which, if successfully concluded, might help many children and young people who are waiting for an organ donation. The current system of consent for organ donation is an ‘opt in’ rather than an ‘opt out’ system. It is reinforced by the Human Tissue Act (2004), which followed the disquieting events at Bristol Royal Infirmary and the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital (Alder Hey), where body parts from children were removed without proper consent procedures being applied. Ironically, this act is now seen by some as an obstacle to increasing the availability of donors, as it is predicated on informed consent and contains no provision for presumed consent.
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