Tuesday, 17 December 2013

How Does Presumed Consent Legislation Affect Deceased Organ Donation Rates?

This visualization is designed to compare organ donation rates from countries with Presumed Consent (also known as "Opt-out") organ donation legislation with those that have Explicit Consent (also know as "Opt-in") organ donation policies.  Note that several countries have changed their consent policies during the periods for which we have data.  In particular, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal and Mexico. 

While it is true that the majority of the countries with the world's highest deceased organ donation rates have adopted Presumed Consent legislation, it is also true that many of the developed countries with the world's lowest rates are also Presumed Consent countries.   So as alluring as it may be to believe that adopting Presumed Consent legislation will raise a country's donation rates--this is not an accurate assumption.

While consent models are obviously important to the outcome of any organ donation system, many experts around the world now believe that increased organ donation rates are more closely associated with systemic changes in health care system that facilitate early identification of potential organ donors.  In particular, close monitoring and very early identification of those patients who are likely to become brain dead.

Aric Bendorf

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