Letter: Organ transplants

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The Royal College of Surgeons points to crisis in transplant surgery with organ donations falling and a decline in surgeons willing to work in the field.

With demand for organs for transplantation rising, but fewer people with Donor Cards dying in accidents or from strokes, surely now is the time for Parliament to debate the change from an opt in system to one in which we have to opt out.

As the father of a recent recipient of a liver transplant, whose life was saved by the generosity of another teenager's family, I have to ask why we still struggle on with an opt in donor system. In almost every other European country, your organs will be used for transplantation unless you have opted out of the system.

By relying on opting in, we are asking people faced with the death or imminent death of a loved one to give thought to organ donation. For us, even though each member of the family has always carried a Donor Card, it would not have been something we would necessarily thought of if the worst had come to pass. How much easier for the family if it was normal for organs to be taken for transplantation.

PETER MINTON

Whitchurch on Thames, Reading

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