NHS bosses met 25 rabbis from London’s Orthodox community in Stamford Hill this week to discuss concerns regarding the new opt-out system of organ donation due to take effect next year.
The meeting was arranged by the Jewish Community Council (JCC) and attended by senior practitioners at the Department of Health and NHS Blood and Transplant.
“They received rabbinical guidance on organ donation,” said JCC director Levi Shapiro. “A number of issues were raised. They tried to reassure us that Jews would not have their organs donated unless they had clearly stated that they wanted to.”
Dr Dale Gardiner, National Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We were grateful for the opportunity to discuss the opt-out system for organ donation with rabbis from the Orthodox Jewish community.”
He added: “Ongoing dialogue with leaders across all faiths is important to us as we know that many people will have questions about how their faith is respected when families are approached about organ donation and if organ donation goes ahead after a loved one dies.
“We hope that by explaining how the opt-out system will work, the various choices available to people, the vital role families play and the ways in which we ensure that beliefs are respected, will have reassured them that the decisions of individuals and their families will remain paramount when the system comes into effect.”