The United Kingdom: presumed consent to organ donation will not apply to genitals

Publié le 13 May, 2019

The United Kingdom has recently adopted the presumed consent system for organ donation (see  United Kingdom and Scotland introduce presumed consent to organ donation). The new law will come into force next year and specifies that a deceased person’s genitals and face will be an exception to presumed consent, which will only apply to ‘routine’ transplants.


The presumed consent system adopted means that everyone over the age of 18 will automatically be registered to donate their organs upon death, unless they objected during their lifetime or unless their family objects. But “the public cannot expect rare or experimental transplants to be included in the system,” said the government, whose priority is “to increase the number of life-saving organ transplants”. The law will therefore not apply to face, limb and genital transplants. However, “if these new transplants become common practice, the government may remove them from the list of organs excluded from presumed consent”.


A consultation, open until 22 July, is giving people in England an opportunity to comment on this amendment to the law and specify which organs and tissues they would like excluded from presumed consent. In addition, the refusal registry will subsequently enable presumed donors to specify which organs they do not wish to donate.


For further reading:

Daily Mail, Alexandra Thompson (1/05/2019)

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