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Welsh agree donor opt out plan

Wednesday July 3rd, 2013

Wales is to introduce an opt-out system for organ donation following a vote of its national assembly, it was agreed last night.

The Welsh government gained the ability to change the organ donor system in 2011.

The vote by Assembly Members' means the country will become a test-bed for a "soft" opt out system for the UK.

The legislation means that people who die in Wales will be regarded as having consented to organ donation unless they have specified otherwise. But donation might still be blocked by family members.

It will come into force in 2015.

Health minister Mark Drakeford said: “ The new law will work by clarifying people’s wishes around the issue of organ donation and, in turn, increase the rate of consent to donation.

"As a society, we have shown we are prepared to take action to increase organ donation and to provide hope to those people waiting every week for a transplant.

“Family refusal is a major factor that affects the numbers of organ donations and the main reason for refusal is lack of knowledge of their loved one’s wishes.

“The family of the potential donor has a major role to play in organ donation. The aim of the Bill has always been to respect the wishes of the deceased, however, relatives or friends of long standing may object to consent being deemed based on what they know about the views of the deceased.

“When family members know that organ donation is what the deceased would have wanted they usually agree to participate in the donation process."

Tags: Internal Medicine | NHS | UK News

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