§ 12. Mr. Tracey
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what recent representations he has received about a system of opting out for donation of organs for transplant.
§ Mr. Fowler
Since this subject was debated in the House on 13 February we have received letters about it from 24 hon. Members, mostly forwarding correspondence from their constituents or others, and about 30 other people.
§ Mr. Tracey
Is my right hon. Friend aware of the opinion poll commissioned by the BBC's "That's Life" programme, which revealed that 71 per cent. of those questioned said that they favoured an opting-out scheme? Notwithstanding that opinion poll result, there is a substantial body of opinion that is still against opting out, including doctors. Will he consider an official inquiry before any steps are taken?
§ Mr. Fowler
We shall examine this issue extremely carefully. As I said when I was last asked a question on the matter, I think that there is more prospect of an opting-in system than an opting-out system. I am sure that my hon. Friend will be pleased to know that, following the launch of the donor card system, in the five weeks from 13 February to 19 March there were 173 transplant operations compared with only 103 in the same period in 1983.