Bishop Mason responds to organ donation consultation

The Government has launched an open consultation titled, “Introducing ‘opt-out’ consent for organ and tissue donation in England”. This consultation will run until 6 March.

Responding to the consultation, Bishop Paul Mason, the Catholic bishop responsible for healthcare, said, “The Government’s plans to introduce ‘opt-out’ consent for organ and tissue donation in England undermine the concept of donation as a gift, and cross the line of what is a reasonable action for the state to take in relation to the individuals within it.

“Moreover, the structure of ‘opt-out’ consent doesn’t necessarily succeed. This system was introduced in Wales in December 2015. Since then there has in fact been a slight decrease in organ transplants in Wales, compared with an increase in England over the same period.

“When an ‘opt-out’ system is implemented for organ donation, it is no longer a gift. Voluntary organ donation is an intrinsic good and something I’d encourage all people to consider.”