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Prioritising existing donors to receive organs would boost donation from ethnic minorities

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5036 (Published 20 August 2013)
Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5036

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  1. Adnan Sharif, nephrology consultant, Department of Nephrology and Transplantation, Renal Institute of Birmingham, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham B15 2WB, UK
  1. adnan.sharif{at}uhb.nhs.uk

There is an incongruity among ethnic minorities between those prepared to donate and those who need to receive organs and stem cells. Adnan Sharif suggests consideration of an Israeli approach that gives priority for receipt to those who have already donated or pledged to donate

In December 2006 the British government set up an organ donation taskforce to identify barriers and solutions to boosting organ donation in the United Kingdom. The recommendations, published in January 2008,1 were intended to rectify one of the worst organ donation rates of any country in Western Europe.

Boosting organ donation from deceased donors by 50% within five years was a laudable aim. Achieving this target in 2013 has therefore been a notable success, although it is too early to ascertain whether the increase in organ quantity has come at the expense of a decrease in organ quality. In addition, over the past four years the number of registrants to the organ donor register (ODR) has increased by 30%, and the numbers of deceased and living donors have risen by 35% and 23%, respectively.2

However, since publication of this report there has been a huge failure to boost organ donation from members of black, …

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