Organ donation

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Skippy
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 5:01 pm

Organ donation

Post by Skippy » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:46 am

Okay, this is a very practical question. Our GP automatically signs new patients up for the organ donation register when they join the practice. I have no objection to this, but our nephew's birth parents may well have a different opinion. I presume that, as special guardians, we can choose to put the child on the register (or not), but if ever he was to die (which is an awful thought), who would have the right to say if organs were donated or not? Special Guardians or birth parents?

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David Roth
Posts: 2022
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:14 am

Re: Organ donation

Post by David Roth » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:50 am

Hi Skippy

I don't know what age your nephew is, but if he is old enough to understand the issues he can make his own decision in writing about whether he wants to be an organ donor. However, even he does register himself as an organ donor, it would be good practice for doctors to discuss the issue of donation with the persons with parental responsibility for him, i.e. yourselves.

If the child hasn't decided or wasn't old enough to decide, then consent to organ donation can be given by the person with parental responsibility for him just before he dies. It is only necessary to get the consent of one person with parental responsibility.

This eventuality is covered by the Human Tissue Act 2004, and by the Human Tissue Authority Code of Practice, which you can read here (scroll down a bit to read about consent - children): http://www.hta.gov.uk/legislationpolici ... cit_id=669

Hopefully this will never arise, but I hope this puts your mind at rest.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

Skippy
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 5:01 pm

Re: Organ donation

Post by Skippy » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:43 pm

Thank you. He's five years old. I was not sure if parental responsibility would be overtaken by birth parents in case of death, but this makes it clear that it is those with parental responsibility at the time of death, which would be us as special guardians.

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