Prof Hazel Biggs debates ‘ranking’ patients for organ donation

In 2013, Organ donation on July 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm

This morning, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Prof Hazel Biggs debated the ethics of ‘ranking’ patients for organ donation with Prof Bobbie Farsides of Sussex University.

A key question under consideration in the media this week (see also the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 this lunchtime, circa 1pm) is whether patients in need of organs – who themselves are on the organ donation register – should be ‘ranked’ higher than those who are not when a suitable organ becomes available; ie a form of prioritising patients according to their willingness to be an organ donor, as opposed to solely considering clinical needs.

Hazel spoke broadly in favour of this approach as a means (among other factors) to incentivise people to join the organ donor list, thereby producing more organs for donation; and raised questions around fairness and equity – ie, people needing organs who were not willing (as opposed to unable) to donate their own to others.

The programme can be accessed here.

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