Organ donors to jump NHS transplant queue?

Give an organ, get an organ back, if needed. That's the idea behind a new NHS proposal: registered organ donors could jump the queue for a transplant.

UK organ donations are in short supply, and even smokers and drinkers are now being encouraged to donate. Should you consider it?

Pass it on?

Why not. More than 1,000 NHS patients die every year because an organ replacement can't be found. That's why the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is considering a new priority system to up the supply of organ donor numbers.

"Is it acceptable that three people die a day in need of an organ?" Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHSBT told the BBC. "Is it right to allow our organs to be buried or cremated with us when they could save or improve the lives of up to nine people?'

Not all will agree with the new NHS proposal. You could argue that the idea of prioritising some patients over others does away with the idea of treating those most in need.

Family refusal

But the same idea has been applied overseas, notably in Israel. However consent for organ harvesting can still be overruled by the dead person's family, a move which has limited organ donor supplies in the past. The UK family refusal rate is estimated to be one of the highest in Europe.

The Welsh Assembly recently passed a Bill for organs to be claimed without consent through an opt-out system, which will come into force in 2015. So unless you specifically opt out, your organs could be taken.

In other words, moves are being made to make your organs automatic property of the government.

Meanwhile apply - voluntarily! - to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

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