HC Deb 10 July 2003 vol 408 c1012W
Mr. Steen

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for the introduction of an opt-out scheme for organ donation in the UK; and what targets have been set to increase the number of people carrying donor cards. [122998]

Ms Rosie Winterton

Government policy on organ donation is one of informed consent, not presumed consent (opt out). The Government have been reviewing the law on the removal, retention and use of human tissues and organs and tissues. A report on the responses on the consultation document 'Human Bodies, Human Choices' was published in April 2003. New legislation will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.

"Saving Lives, Valuing Donors—A Transplant Framework for England", was published on 7 July 2003. It sets out key aims for organ and tissue transplantation over the next 10 years. This framework identifies the part that the Government, individuals, the national health service and other stakeholders can play in: Encouraging people to donate organs and tissues Raising the quality and effectiveness of transplant services Improving the clinical outcomes and quality of life of people who receive the gift of an organ or tissue Increasing the supply of viable organs and tissues for transplantation Accrediting tissue banks to ensure high-quality tissues for transplantation.

Its aims include encouraging the NHS and others to play their part in ensuring that at least 16 million people are registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register by 2010.