Deemed consent for organ donation: a comparison of the English and Scottish approaches

Deemed consent for organ donation: a comparison of the English and Scottish approaches
Jordan A. Parsons
Journal of Law and the Biosciences, 4 March 2021
Open Access
Deemed consent for organ donation has long been discussed as a potential solution to the shortage of organs for transplantation, with several countries having implemented it. In Great Britain, Wales was the first nation to introduce such a system, having done so in 2015. Now, the other two nations are following suit. In this paper, I compare the approaches of England and Scotland in moving to systems of deemed consent for organ donation. After outlining both sets of legislation, I focus on three points on which the two nations differ. First, the role of those close to the deceased in the consent process and the extent to which clinicians are required to consult them ahead of consent being deemed. Second, the role of government ministers in ensuring widespread public awareness. Third, the ways in which the two nations responded to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to the implementation of deemed consent. I conclude that on all three points, the Scottish approach is preferable.

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