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Task Force Recommends All Mass. Residents Be Added To Organ Donor List, Unless They Opt-Out

The Massachusetts Task Force on Pulmonary Hypertension recommended the state assume all residents want to donate their organs, unless they specifically opt-out.

The task force, which released a report containing the recommendation last month, suggests a system of presumed consent to increase organ donations rates in Massachusetts.

According to the report, 95% of Americans are in support of organ donation, but only 58% are registered as donors.

“We know that the vast majority of Americans do believe in organ donation, but never get to the point of filling out the form. This should open the door for people to more often be donors,” said Aaron Waxman, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who helped write the report.

Approximately, 25 European countries have already adopted some form of an opt-out system for organ donations, the report said. And there have been efforts by several U.S. states in the last eight years to introduce ‘opt out’ legislation.

“We all have patients who are dying waiting for organs,” Waxman said. “There's a critical shortage.”


Correction: An earlier version of the story mischaracterized efforts to adopt out-out organ donation policies in other states.

Related:

Jenny Kornreich WBUR News Fellow
Jenny Kornreich is a WBUR news fellow.

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