Should we presume consent for organ donation?

Stephen Beed • SEPTEMBER 21, 2016

Stephen Beed of Dalhousie University and the International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement discusses the idea of presumed consent for organ and tissue donation. Beed acknowledges the need for more donors and notes the fact that the public supports donation in general, and grants that his particular province in Canada will likely adopt presumed consent, but urges caution in doing so. Presumed consent has benefits, such as relieving families from having to make difficult decisions at a difficult time, but it also has drawbacks. For example, opting out is an active process which can be difficult for some people to seek out and complete. It is also prone to potential errors and abuse. Beed calls for a balanced, fact-based discussion of this policy that allows people to opt out and is sensitive to all concerns.

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