Relatives of registered organ donors block more than 100 transplants a year

19 Oct

Objections from relatives have stopped more than 100 organ donations from taking place each year, it is reported.

Figures from NHS Blood and Transplant Service (NHSBT) have shown that 505 families have blocked donations from taking place in the last five years – despite the deceased being a registered donor.

The data was obtained by the BBC, with one would-be donor telling the broadcaster she was worried her family may not support her wishes.

The 17-year-old, referred to as Rachel, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I wasn’t aware when I signed up that your family had to be supportive of your decision. It seems like, well, what’s the point of signing up if it could be overruled anyway?

“It does worry me because, if I died now, my mum does make the main decision. I hope I can trust her to make the right one.”

Laws surrounding organ donation suggest that consent is given by the deceased – but the wishes of relatives are respected.

Similar figures were published in January last year, suggesting relatives blocked transplants in 547 – or one in seven – cases since 2010.

In response, the NHSBT said it would no longer seek a family’s formal consent in order to reduce the number of “overrides”.

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