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AVAILABLE EXPERT - Presumed consent for organ donation

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Queen's University bioethicist Udo Schuklenk is available to comment on efforts, started in Manitoba, to make organ donor registry the default option when renewing your driver's licence. Under this model, which is referred to as presumed consent, everyone would be considered an organ donor unless they sign up to specifically opt out. Manitobans for Presumed Consent, the group that first raised this suggestion, says that this model could increase donation rates by 25 to 30 per cent, saving hundreds if not thousands of lives.

"Many Canadians die easily preventable deaths each year simply because most of us are too lazy to proactively sign-up as organ donors," says Dr. Schuklenk. "An ethical case can be made that we should be presumed to have consented to the donation of our organs after our demise unless we proactively opt-out of that donation. This would result in the preservation of fellow Canadians' lives that otherwise would be lost. Any number of ethical principles support the kind of policy changes advocated admirably by Manitobans for Presumed Consent."

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes 613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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