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Organs: Donors

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Government plan to make changes to the conditions which determine who receives organs donated by those carrying a donor card. (253117)

We have no plans to change the conditions which determine who receives organs from deceased donors, including those who carry a donor card. The system of allocation differs according to the type of organ, whether it is a heart, lung, kidney, or liver. Patients waiting for a heart or liver who are classified as urgent are given priority. This is because their life expectancy without a transplant can be measured in days or even hours. If there are no urgent patients on the waiting list, the organ is offered for patients on the non-urgent list who are nearest in age and blood group to the donor. The location of donor and recipient is also considered to minimise the delay between retrieving and transplanting organs.