THE launch of the government’s consultation last week on introducing an opt-out system for organ donation is a welcome next step following Theresa May’s announcement of the intention to change organ donation laws in England.

For those patients in the North-East anxiously awaiting news of an organ donation, among the 6,500 on waiting lists throughout the country, the progress made towards presumed consent will provide some hope of making it easier for those wishing to donate to do so.

As well as providing an opportunity for groups to have their voices heard and to ensure the safeguarding and protection of the interests of the various parties involved, the consultation will hopefully increase public awareness of the process and lead to more discussion of organ donation within families and between friends, so that over time, donation becomes more normalised.

The government must now ensure that the resources are available to facilitate the expected increase in donations resulting from the proposed changes.

Dr John Chisholm, British Medical Association, medical ethics committee chairman