News that the NHS will no longer seek additional consent where a deceased person had joined the donor register welcomed by Louise Bours

Published Jan 15, 2016

Louise_Bours_MEP.jpgBereaved families have vetoed the donation of organs from hundreds of registered donors in the last five years, new figures show, prompting transplant chiefs to announce that they will no longer ask relatives for consent.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) data reveals that relatives blocked transplants in 547 - or one in seven - cases since 2010.

The body said it would no longer seek a family's formal consent in order to reduce the number of "overrides", according to the BBC.

The bereaved will be given a leaflet which explains consent remains with the deceased, although they can still block donation by providing reasons in writing.

Ms Bours said: “Donating an organ after death is one of the most honourable and generous gifts a person can give.

“Not only does it transform the life of a very sick person and their family, it often greatly comforts the family of the deceased, who can feel their loved one has left an ongoing legacy and has been someone’s hero.

“It is of course a very upsetting time for a bereaved family, and their reluctance for any invasive procedure on the deceased is understandable, but we do have to respect the final wishes of the deceased. There is also a strong argument to say that asking for confirmation from the family may put them under pressure at a time they just need comfort.

“How people feel at their initial and often unexpected loss maybe very different to how they feel once time has helped them through some of the grieving process, and I feel that many will look back and see the generosity and compassion of their loved one going on the register and benefits and comfort that decision brought about.”

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