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2018041320180907 (R4)

What will an opt-out organ donation system really mean for the families asked to consent?

In 2014 Polly Weston's sister Lara died. She had just turned 22. Lara and her family had never discussed organ donation, and she wasn't on the register. But when the family were asked if they would consider donation, they said yes. Out of the tragedy of her death, medics managed to donate her organs to four women, while her eyes saved the sight of three men.

In February a bill passed its second reading in Parliament to say that England would seek to move to an organ donation opt-out system - meaning citizens would be presumed to consent to their organs being donated unless they actively withdrew from the system. It seemed like there was universal support for the announcement. Labour were behind it. Newspapers rejoiced.

But having been through the process, Polly's family were unsure about whether this policy change would bring about an improvement in donations.

Now she asks what does organ donation really mean to families - and will an opt out system really make a difference?

Produced and presented by Polly Weston.

2018041320180907 (R4)

What will an opt-out organ donation system really mean for the families asked to consent?

In 2014 Polly Weston's sister Lara died. She had just turned 22. Lara and her family had never discussed organ donation, and she wasn't on the register. But when the family were asked if they would consider donation, they said yes. Out of the tragedy of her death, medics managed to donate her organs to four women, while her eyes saved the sight of three men.

In February a bill passed its second reading in Parliament to say that England would seek to move to an organ donation opt-out system - meaning citizens would be presumed to consent to their organs being donated unless they actively withdrew from the system. It seemed like there was universal support for the announcement. Labour were behind it. Newspapers rejoiced.

But having been through the process, Polly's family were unsure about whether this policy change would bring about an improvement in donations.

Now she asks what does organ donation really mean to families - and will an opt out system really make a difference?

Produced and presented by Polly Weston.

20180413

What will an opt-out organ donation system really mean for the families asked to consent?

In 2014 Polly Weston's sister Lara died. She had just turned 22. Lara and her family had never discussed organ donation, and she wasn't on the register. But when the family were asked if they would consider donation, they said yes. Out of the tragedy of her death, medics managed to donate her organs to four women, while her eyes saved the sight of three men.

In February a bill passed its second reading in parliament to say that England would seek to move to an organ donation opt-out system - meaning citizens would be presumed to consent to their organs being donated unless they actively withdrew from the system. It seemed like there was universal support for the announcement. Labour were behind it. Newspapers rejoiced.

But having been through the process, Polly's family were unsure about whether this policy change would bring about an improvement in donations. She began speaking to major advocates of organ donation, and found that many donor specialists and donor families themselves are unconvinced by the change.

Very few of us will die in a situation which allows for our organs to be donated. And if we do - we won't be there to express our support for it, or to give our own medical and sexual history. It is families who are consulted - and still will be under the new system. The question is, how will the change in policy impact on consent rates in that sudden, awful moment? Will an opt-out system encourage more families to say yes?

This programme takes you through the experience of consent - and what the question of organ donation really means to families who have been asked. Why do they say no? And how will this policy impact on their response and their experience?

Produced and presented by Polly Weston.