Skip to main content

Organ Transplants

Volume 87: debated on Tuesday 26 November 1985

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will now consider augmenting his donor card scheme by initiating a contracting in scheme for organ transplant provision; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will review the ways in which organs are obtained for transplants; and if he will make a statement on the current position.

Under the provisions of the Human Tissue Act 1961, organs may be removed for transplantation either if the deceased person has previously indicated in writing his willingness to be a donor, for example by signing an organ donor card, or if after reasonable inquiry there are no grounds for believing that his relatives have any objection. Successive Governments have undertaken a series of intitiatives to increase the numbers of organs becoming available for transplantation, in particular through encouraging people to carry a signed donor card.Donor organs are still urgently needed and we are constantly seeking new ways of increasing public awareness of the benefits of organ transplantation and promoting the donor card scheme, but we see no need at present for a review of the ways in which organs are obtained. The largest computer register of people who are willing to donate their organs after their death in the United Kingdom is in Manchester, and we are watching its progress. We are considering ways in which a computer register might be provided on a national basis, if experience with the local schemes appears to justify this, but we do not expect to be able to make any announcement in the immediate future.