Updated at: 03-11-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Is the concept of implied permission for organ donation something you’re curious about? Organ donation is a rigorous process that requires the recipient’s agreement. Words like “implied authorization” and “opt-out” may sound familiar when discussing organ donation.

Those over the age of 18 are automatically considered “opt-out” organ donors unless they follow the necessary legal processes to “opt-out.” The United Kingdom only recently enacted laws along these lines.

The United States similarly operates under a primary consent system that requires individuals to actively opt in before legal action may be taken. When it comes to the United States, the mechanism of supposed permission is the first-person, opt-in authorisation. Read on, pals, and fill in the blanks on this fascinating topic.

In light of the increasing need for donor organs and tissues, an assumed consent process may appear to be the best option. Before advocating for assumed consent, it is important to have a thorough understanding of how it operates and why it may be the best option for tissue and organ donation in the United States. Here are some details about organ donation with implied consent that you should know.

Free Persuasive Speech on Organ Donation

#1. No system is based on the premise that genuine permission has been granted

Even though implied consent is legal in many Western European countries, the vast majority of these systems are implemented as family permission, with families essentially overruling the assumption of agreement.

#2. It’s unnecessary to have a family conversation when approval is assumed

With the current opt-in system, organ procurement organizations can approach the families of potential donors to discuss donations. Furthermore, in our area, 90% of residents support organ donation. We lose an opportunity for family discussion if people can choose not to participate. Read up about the life-saving effects of organ donation.

Our legal system is predicated on the concept of individual liberty and the protection of personal rights. These rules of law prohibit the use of presumed consent, which could be necessary. While it could save lives in the short term to simply assume consent, such a drastic change could damage public trust in organ donation. Therefore, discussions about organ donation should be ongoing.

According to the conclusive evidence, adopting the presumed consent system will not boost the number of available organs in the United States for transplantation. Because of our opt-in, voluntary system, more than 70% of Americans who meet the criteria for organ donation become donors after death.

The ratio of 32 donors per million people is quite high. When include countries with opt-out regimes, the United States is still ranked #4 for highest organ donation rate.

However, it is difficult to assess the exact contribution of presumed consent legislation alone because changes in legislation in countries where presumed consent has been successfully employed take place in the context of better infrastructure, increased funding for transplant programs, and public awareness campaigns. As the Spanish government would confirm, organizational shifts, rather than laws, have been the driving force behind their success. However, countries like Sweden, Greece, and Bulgaria, which all use the presumed consent paradigm, have significantly lower donation rates than the United Kingdom. According to the most up-to-date data, the number of deceased donors in Wales has decreased somewhat compared to the same time period in the previous year, which coincides with the system’s implementation in the country in December 2015. While some degree of natural variation is to be expected, there is no clear indication of a surge in contributions.

Consent compromise raises moral questions as well. Legislation based on “presumed consent” assumes that people who have taken no action, such as signing an opt-in or opt-out register, have made the conscious decision to donate their organs. Consent, as defined by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA), is an active process; consent that is just given is insufficient. Questions of legality may also arise as to whether or not any given program will meet the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation’s requirements for consent, namely that it be sufficiently explicit, unequivocal, and signaled by clear affirmative action. While it’s true that silence can be taken as tacit assent in some situations, this interpretation is based on the assumption that everyone involved is aware that quiet would be understood in this way. Others who are moved to take action under this system can do so, but it raises ethical concerns for those who are either indifferent to the system’s default position or who are uninformed of the significance of their silence. Presumed consent imposes a policy that, despite its laudable motivation, depends on the reluctance or ignorance of citizens for its accomplishment.

Presumed consent imposes a policy that, despite its laudable motivation, depends on the reluctance or ignorance of citizens for its accomplishment.

Who owns your organs?

It is a well known principle of law that a corpse cannot be owned. Under an opt-out system, however, the state would be granted ownership over the body’s internal organs (in the absence of registering a preference or strong family objection). Some people may be put off by the suggestion that the government owns their bodies even when they are no longer needed, which could have a negative impact on the present donation system’s credibility.

Donating an organ, like donating blood, is an act of social conscience or civic obligation that can make us feel good about ourselves. One’s attitude toward donation could change from one of “giving” to “taking” if donors aren’t given the opportunity to ask questions and learn about their actions before they provide their assent. How likely is it that politically engaged individuals who currently consent to organ donation will begin deliberately refusing donations as a means of protest?

A national conversation

To get around these problems and reduce the likelihood of charges of exploitation, the UK government would need to implement a massive and ongoing communications drive to inform the public about the new system and its implications. In fact, the Organ Donation Taskforce advised against changing the law in 2008 due to concerns about a potential backlash against donors.

Perhaps what is needed, though, is a public discussion on the issue. Kidney Care UK’s Policy Director Fiona Loud has said that this year’s public consultation will “generate a national dialogue around organ donation.” Whether or not you support implied permission, it is impossible to deny the value of increasing awareness of this problem and, in particular, the hardship of people who wait on organ donation waiting lists. The best way to get people moving is probably to expose them to these arguments, both pro and con.

National research commissioned by HHS in 2019 indicated that 34% of respondents would “opt-out” of a presumed consent system if the United States adopted one. This backs with findings from a local study that showed 56% of Coloradans surveyed were against having the option to opt out. Many of those who participated in the survey saw this declaration as one made by the government rather than by themselves. Many people may decide against being donors because of this, even if they otherwise support the cause, because they don’t want to feel pressured into it.

Nova Scotia's presumed consent law for organ donation to go into effect on Jan. 18 | Globalnews.ca

A supposed consent system may seem like the obvious and best solution to the ever-increasing demand for organ and tissue transplants. Yet, before you start lobbying for it, it’s important to know how a presumed consent system operates and why it might not be the greatest choice for organ and tissue donation in the United States.

  • While the concept of presumptive consent has been adopted in a number of Western European countries, in practice it is implemented as family authorization, with families essentially able to overturn the assumption of consent.
  • Under the existing opt-in system, organ procurement groups have the chance to discuss donation with the family of every potential donor. However, this conversation would be impossible if presumed consent were in place. The approval percentage for organ donations is quite close to 90% where I live. An opt-out system would eliminate the possibility of having that kind of conversation at home.
  • As a general rule, American law is strongly based on the concepts of individual rights and liberties, which means that presumed consent is not consistent with these values. These cornerstones of law may be at odds with the practice of presumed consent. The public’s faith in the organ and tissue donation system could be damaged by a shift of this size, despite the attractiveness of the concept of presumed permission. But it’s crucial to keep talking about it, as was done at a Harvard Law School seminar last month titled “Nudging Organ Donation: Tools to Encourage Organ Availability.”
  • More organs would not be accessible for transplant if people were given the option to “opt out” or if consent was assumed. Finally, evidence suggests that switching to an opt-out system will not increase the number of available organs for transplant in the United States. More than 70% of Americans who are eligible to donate organs do so under our opt-in, voluntary system. About 32 people per million are willing to donate an organ, making this country the fourth highest in organ donation rates worldwide.


One study from 2019 found that 34 percent of respondents would choose not to participate in an assumed consent system. Local data also suggests that a majority of Coloradans (56%) are opposed to the use of an opt-out mechanism, lending credence to this position. Many mistook this for a declaration made by the government instead of individuals on their own behalf. However, many people trust in and support the idea of organ donation. hence, not everyone who refuses to donate is against it.

No. Minors and people without mental capacity are exempt from presumed consent. People who have moved to the state during the past year would also be exempt. Giving public education a high priority will help inform those who aren’t familiar with the law or its implications. Learn who can donate an organ.

What alternatives do I have if I don’t want to participate?

We still haven’t finished this. People will be able to decline participation in the program in the future through various channels, such as the Internet and direct contact with program administrators. Getting the message out to as many people as possible is essential. Further, the process should just take a short amount of time. In addition, organ donation should be easily accessible, user-friendly, and sensitive to cultural norms.

Is it true that funerals are postponed because of organ donation?

Donating an organ is a lengthy surgery that typically takes between 24 and 36 hours. When an organ transplant takes place, for instance, is dependent on a number of factors, such as the availability of suitable recipients and the practicalities of the operation. With a sick family member, patience may be in short supply. Learn the many ways in which organ donation can help people.

Why is presumed consent organ donation bad?

A presumed permission system “has the potential to undermine the concept of donation as a gift, to erode faith in health professionals and the Government, and significantly effect organ donation statistics,” the panel said.

Does presumed consent increase organ donation?

Presumed consent law or practice was linked to higher rates of organ donation in the four highest-quality cross-national comparisons, with rates increasing by 25-30%, 21-26%, 2.7 donors per million, and 6.14 donors per million, respectively.

Is consent required for organ donation?

Using an explicit consent model, the United States facilitates organ donation. This means that unless a person makes a conscious decision to become a donor, they will not be considered for that purpose.

Why is presumed consent better?

It was determined by the study’s authors that a 5% increase in presumed consent-associated deceased donors would lead to a 3.2% decrease in removals from the waiting list due to death or sickness for all organs when assigned randomly. The average number of removals was reduced by 10.4 percent when optimal allocation was used.

Why is opt-out organ donation bad?

Opt-out consent “may contribute to increased deceased donation but reduced living donation rates,” the authors write in their BMC Medicine paper. Opt-out consent is also linked to a rise in the overall number of liver and kidney transplants.

Is presumed consent cost effective?

Presumed permission is a step in the right direction, but it probably won’t be enough to end the organ scarcity in the United States. However, considering the overall cost-effectiveness of solid organ transplant, this strategy may result in significant improvements in life-years and be highly cost-effective for the US healthcare system.

Is presumed consent unconstitutional?

This third presumed consent law establishes a presumption of permission to organ donation, although it is the least effective of the three. Because they violate a family’s property interest in a loved one’s body, presumed consent statutes should be struck down as unconstitutional.

Who can consent organ donation?

Per the California Anatomical Gift Act, your consent is irrevocable and, unless you are under 18, you do not need anybody else’s permission to proceed. If a potential donor is younger than 18, their parent or legal guardian must make the ultimate donation decision.

7 Myths About Organ Donation | Cedars-Sinai

It’s A Wrap!

This article could have clarified what exactly constitutes “presumed permission” in the context of organ donation. Keep in mind that registering as a donor is completely voluntary on the part of the donor.

Once they do, nobody else has to let them until the donor’s decision is recorded legally. Donor registration is completely optional for residents, who can do so at the DMV or online.

This means that people’s participation in the donor registry is entirely voluntary, and that no further consent is required once they’ve joined the registry and their decision has been documented in law. After that time, no additional permission is required. The concept of presumed consent in organ donation is important to understand.