Some in the U.K. may be OK with donating with their livers, but are rolling over in their graves over the unauthorized donation of their prized hearts!
The British National Health Service Blood and Transport organization is currently investigating errors in its 14 million-strong donor list that may have led to organs being removed from donors without permission, it said Saturday.
Going back a decade, computer programming glitches are the suspected culprits. This means that since 1999, for example, people who wished to donate their lungs or skin may have been incorrectly identified as wanting to donate their corneas or heart.
The Sunday Telegraph said the glitch affected about 800,000 people, 45 of whom have since died and donated organs. Just under half are thought to have made donations based on the faulty data, the paper said.
The revelation comes at a very awkward time for the British government, which has been pushing to increase their rate of organ donation, one of the lowest rates in Europe. To make organ donation easier, U.K officials have gone so far as to float the idea of automatically designating every person as an organ donor unless they or their survivors opt out.
The computer glitch comes atop a series of gross information technology mishaps in the U.K., raising questions over the government’s ability to properly handle its citizens’ data. Officials have also misplaced data on 3 million driving test candidates, 600,000 army applicants, and 5,000 prison officers over the past few years.