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Overview of Organ Donation System: Opinion Essay

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Today, I am going to talk about why I think that every country should adopt the opt out organ donation system. I am going to talk 4 different parts to this topic.

Firstly, I am going to describe the difference an opt in and opt out system. An opt out system is when organ donation will happen automatically at death unless a specific request is made for this not to occur. Some countries which follow the opt out systems include Spain and Portugal. On the contrary, an opt in approach is when somebody must register to donate. Quite a few countries follow this method. Including the USA and Turkey have opt in methods.

Secondly, I am going to explain what statistics and facts are surrounding there systems. In countries which follow the opt-in structure, there is often a lack of organs for those who need transplants. This leads to long waiting lists. For example – (according to the American transplant foundation) 18 people die every day in the US in need of an organ transplant, and some 122344 people are waiting for a donated organ. From looking at data, opt out systems have a much higher organ donation rate. Spain, which has an opt out system, has the record with 48.9 donor per million. For 28 years Spain has been the world leader for organ donation.

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Thirdly I am going to talk about why presumed consent has a higher rate of donation. A study suggested that people tend to conform to the status quo so in an opt out country, the normality is to upon to death donate organs and the opposite for opt in. It implies that psychologically people are more inclined to donate if that is the default option and what is expected. A great example of this from a research piece which talks about the USA – which abides by the opt in approach. It found out that Americans view organ donation as something extraordinary – climbing mount Everest. The study then goes on to explain that in a opt out country it is unbelievable not to donate.

Another reason that opt out systems can be more successful is that in many countries signing up to be an organ donor is more effort than some are willing to put in. This means that people who are prepared to give organs, do not go to someone who might be in desire need for one. We see this happen drastically in a country such as the UK. A study implied that while 96% of people believe that organ donation is the right thing to do only 30% of people have signed up to be on the register. However, since this study the UK changed its policy to opt out in May 2020. There has been a spike in donation. In 2013 there were 7410 people on the waiting list which has dropped significantly to 5735 currently. This is extraordinary change which makes the future of opt out organ donation seem very hopeful.

Lastly, I am going to talk about the future of opt out donation methods. The top four countries for organ donation all follow the opt out method. It has been shown that in practice it is much more effective. Countless lives CAN be saved. Changes need to be made.

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Overview of Organ Donation System: Opinion Essay. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
“Overview of Organ Donation System: Opinion Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
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Overview of Organ Donation System: Opinion Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from:
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