UK clears way to make adults presumed organ donors

 A previous attempt to pass presumed consent legislation in Britain failed in 2008, in part because of opposition from religious leaders.

LONDON: The story of Keira Ball, a sprightly 9-year-old, did not end in summer 2017, when she was fatally injured in a car accident in England. Her parents consented to donating her organs, saving the life of Max Johnson, also 9, whose heart was failing because of an infection. 

 Pictures of these two children, who never met in life, have been on newspaper front pages and news broadcasts in Britain this week, the most highly publicised of the cases that have helped win passage of what has been called Max and Keira’s law. It is intended to boost Britain’s low rate of organ donations by making most adults presumed organ donors by 2020.

 Under the new system, which cleared the final hurdle in Parliament on Tuesday, adults living in England, with narrow exceptions, would be considered potential donors unless they had expressed objections.

 Wales already has a presumed consent or “optout” system since December 2015, and on Tuesday, Scotland’s Parliament debated a bill to create a similar one.

 A previous attempt to pass presumed consent legislation in Britain failed in 2008, in part because of opposition from religious leaders.
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