British drivers asked to become organ donors

December 31, 2010

Anyone applying for a driving licence in Britain will be asked if they want to join an organ donation scheme under new proposals to boost the number of donors, it was announced on Friday.

The system to be piloted from July will make would-be drivers state if they want to sign up to the National Health Service Organ Register or defer a decision until a later date.

Authorities hope it will boost the numbers of those willing to donate vital organs to help others live in the case of their own death. Some 8,000 people in Britain are waiting for a .

Under the current system, applicants can miss out a question on donation when applying for a driving licence.

But the new rules will require that they opt to either register for donation, state that they have already signed up or state: "I do not want to answer this question now."

At present, just over a quarter of British residents are registered donors, but studies have revealed that a far larger proportion are in favour of donating body parts.

minister Anne Milton said: "Surveys show that a large number of people in the UK are happy to donate their organs for transplantation but haven't got round to registering.

"We hope that by prompting people into making a decision we can encourage more people to register.

"We also need people to think and talk about with their families so people know what family members want."

Related Stories

Recommended for you


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

3.3 / 5 (7) Dec 31, 2010
Notice that there is no "I do not choose to donate body parts" response?

5 / 5 (4) Dec 31, 2010
Notice that there is no "I do not choose to donate body parts" response?

Yeah, I noticed that too. One would presume that a "no" is infered, but no telling how a government org will try to interpret it. In the U.S., we've had a checkbox on our licenses for as long as I can remember. I always check and sign mine. Not signing it means "no". Sounds to me like they're preparing to implement implied consent with no real opt out. That's just my experience with beurocrats in the U.S. and assuming it applies across the pond too.
5 / 5 (4) Dec 31, 2010
Hopefully in 5 to 10 years, this won't be an issue with organ growing becoming more mainstream. Organovo is one of the companies I believe.
3.4 / 5 (5) Dec 31, 2010
Agree Treegeek. The main issue is tissue rejection, but there are also moral issues. The concept of "brain death" was largely invented to justify taking organs from people whose hearts are still beating. There have been many people declared "brain dead" who woke up and made a full recovery. Remember the guy a couple of years ago who woke up shortly before they were going to "harvest" his organs?
3.3 / 5 (3) Dec 31, 2010
People seem to be more valuable dead than alive. Now accidents will seem OK because a noble act will happen. He/she had a great heart, liver, kidneys, lungs... but a stupid brain. Youths' deaths will be acceptable because they will spread their organs. The people on the transplant list are eagerly waiting for some deadly events to happen; while themselves do not want to die they wish death for fellow humans so they can harvest their parts.Hmmm
4.3 / 5 (3) Jan 01, 2011
I think that the point of this thread is that -- with stem cell mastery -- we will be able to grow needed organs from our own stem cells. When this starts to happen; all the old bets are off.
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 01, 2011
If they really want to save lives and increase the supply of organs, they should provide organ donors compensation for their organs. There are many ways to do so. They could pay the funeral expenses as one example.

IMHO, those saying you can't sell your organs because it's unethical, are the unethical ones because they are using the force of government to stop what would otherwise be a transaction between consenting parties that would save lives. I believe those who want to decide who gets organs want that power for themselves rather than donors and their families. There was even a case where a friend offered to donate a kidney (he couldn't give it to his friend who needed one due to compatibility) provided his friend got one - yet those controlling who decided, wouldn't allow it. There have also been cases of funeral homes harvesting and selling body parts and tissues without the consent of the families.

Do we own our bodies or do government bureaucrats?
5 / 5 (2) Jan 01, 2011
Hopefully in 5 to 10 years, this won't be an issue with organ growing becoming more mainstream. Organovo is one of the companies I believe.

Organ growing probably won't go mainstream until another 40-50 years from now.
5 / 5 (2) Jan 01, 2011
I intend to fully use up my organs. By the time I am done with them there is no life left in them. I encourage you to do the same. So nothing to donate really.
2 / 5 (4) Jan 02, 2011
Do we own our bodies or do government bureaucrats?

Silly question. Of course the government owns EVERYTHING. Those on the left here even argue that government owns the fruits of your labor, 100%, lock, stock and barrel, and it is only out of the goodness of their bureaucratic hearts that they let you keep some. The rest is for redistribution to their friends and approved victim groups who didn't earn it.

Why should your organs be any different? It was just by an accident of birth that you have them in the first place, anyway, like inherited wealth. The greater good of the Collective must prevail.

And once bureaucratic rationing of health care is fully implemented, it will inevitably result in the politically connected and politically correct getting the organs. The rest of you "small people" will have just die and bear it.

Except for women, that is. They get to kill that lump of cancerous tissue or whatever it is for their own convenience.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.