Responding to the Prime Minister’s conference speech, in which she said that the Government will shift “the balance in favour of organ donation”, Board of Deputies Vice President Marie van der Zyl called for caution.
She said: “While, in principle, Judaism encourages organ donation in order to save lives, any changes must ensure that there is no risk of a person having their organs taken against their and their families’ wishes. This could obviously cause very grave distress to families of the deceased at a sensitive time. The removal of organs raises religious issues centring on the point at which death is presumed to occur. The Government will need to consult carefully in order to protect freedom of religious practice.”