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A similar system was implemented in Israel in 2008, in order to boost the number of organ donors on their national register. However, the system used in Israel not only gives priority to registered organ donors, but close family members of organ donors. The system aims to ensure that “patients requiring an urgent transplant because of their serious condition will continue to have priority, regardless of the new points-scheme”. However, if there is a situation where two individuals are equally suitable for a donated organ, the priority system will come into play.
Concerns arise that implementing this system in the UK goes against one of the main principle of the NHS – “that patients are treated on the sole basis of need.”
Should this system be implemented within the UK? Should close relatives of a donor also be given priority treatment? What dangers could we face if the system moves away from allocating organs based solely on clinical need?