Opt out organ donation system

  • Posted

Posted 01/07/2013

The BBC reported today that the Welsh Government plans to introduce a system where individuals will be presumed to have consented for their organs to be donated after death unless they have specifically objected.

Currently, those who wish to donate their organs have to sign a register, otherwise they are presumed not to consent to donation. This law would apply to over-18s who die in Wales if they have lived in Wales for more than 12 months. As currently happens, organs could go to recipients anywhere in the UK, not just in Wales.Ministers hope that this new legislation will increase the number of much-needed donors for transplant by a quarter.  However, these changes are a long way off as even if assembly members vote in favour, it will be two years before any changes come into force.

Sophie Bales, a medical injury solicitor at Ashtons Legal, comments: “This is a progressive and potentially controversial law which could potentially increase organ donation and save lives, benefiting patients throughout the UK.

However, the onus would be on the individual to opt out of organ donation and this poses questions and difficulties. There will need to be much debate and a widespread public awareness campaign pursued before this legislation comes into place.”


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