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Private organ transplants 'to be banned in UK'

1st August 2009

Private clinical organ transplant donations are set to be banned in the UK, under recommendations outlined in a new report.

The Department of Health has largely accepted the proposals, which are outlined in a publication by Elisabeth Buggins, former chair of the Organ Donation Taskforce.

Bans on private clinical transplants are set to come into force in October 2009 and will be backed up by an implementation group to monitor referrals for transplants from overseas.

The report was commissioned by the health secretary earlier this year amid growing concern about the number of organs from deceased donors being transplanted into non-UK EU residents.

Ms Buggins said that she had found no evidence of wrongdoing in her investigations, but concluded that 'there is a perception that private payments may unfairly influence access to transplant, so they must be banned'.

She added: 'Confidence in the transplant system should increase once money is removed from the equation, decisions are transparent and accountability clear.'

The Organ Donation Taskforce was set up to consider a number of issues that persist with organ donation in the UK, including considering the potential impact of a move to a system of presumed consent or opt-out.

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