A technical error in the UK’s organ transplant programme has led to at least 21 cases of the wrong organs having been taken from donors.
An investigation has been launched into why, over the last ten years, details of some donors’ preferences appear to have been recorded wrongly because of a ‘glitch’ during the transfer of data.
It is feared the mistakes could reduce the number of organs being offered for transplant.
Dr Tony Callan, a member of the BMA Medical Ethics Committee, expressed his concern.
“I think it is very important that people have confidence in the donor system. They need to know that the altruistic donation they will be making is used properly and effectively to lengthen people’s lives and actually save people’s lives.”
The UK’s public health service, the NHS, says it has already corrected over 400,000 flawed records and has reassured donors’ families that no-one had been registered as a donor against their wishes.