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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Opt out donation begins in Wales

Tuesday December 1st, 2015

A radical change in transplant laws comes into force today - in Wales.

Under new "soft opt out" legislation, people in Wales will have to opt out of transplantation before their deaths.

However families will still have the option of vetoing proposed transplants.

Wales currently has 224 people on its transplant waiting list - although organs obtained under the new system may be used for patients throughout the UK.

Welsh health minister Professor Mark Drakeford said: “The change to a soft opt-out system for organ donation will deliver a revolution in consent. Organ donation saves lives; increasing the rate of organ donation allows us to save more lives.

"That’s the key motivation for this significant change. Over the last 20 years a great deal has been achieved in improving medical practice in the field of organ donation but if we’re going to make further progress we need a leap in consent rates and that is why we have changed the law.

“I hope this change will prompt people to talk with their loved ones about their organ donation wishes. We have worked tirelessly to publicise the change and people’s choices under the new system."

The British Heart Foundation said the system should be used throughout the UK.

Chief executive Simon Gillespie said: “Other European countries that already use an opt-out system have much higher donor rates than the UK.

“We believe introducing a soft opt-out system, accompanied by awareness raising, education and investment in infrastructure will help increase organ donation rates in the UK and save more lives.

Tags: Heart Health | Internal Medicine | NHS | Transplant | UK News

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