The public says yes. The British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing say yes. British doctors say maybe. Those are the results of a recent poll in the U.K. on organ donation.
Two thirds of the public now supports the idea. Intensive care doctors are split, with half saying a move could damage the trust between patients, their families and doctors. (The sample size for the doctors was only 125.) The concerns are similar to the ones David Orentlicher raised in his working paper.
Some doctors are concerned presumed consent might instill doubts in patients and relatives about a potential conflict of interest.
Mr Gunning said: “In intensive care patients are often admitted suddenly and the families have to comes to terms very quickly with the fact that someone may not survive. It is very important in this situation that we have their trust, that we are doing is going to be in the best interests of that patient.”
While he strongly supports the principle of organ donation, he believes any consideration of presumed consent is premature.
“The trouble is we live in a society where people are very much worried about the interference of the state. I think you would find that families would view this as taking the organs – and that would create a tension.”
Hat tip: Jeffrey Sybesma