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  1. ITV Report

Should laws on organ donation be changed?

In favour: Roy Thomas, chief executive of Kidney Wales Foundation, which raises funds and awareness for kidney patient care and research in Wales.

Roy J Thomas, chief executive of Kidney Wales Foundation Credit: KWF

"Kidney Wales Foundation has been campaigning for five years for a change in the law.

"One person dies every week in Wales waiting for an organ transplant.

"The UK has some of the lowest rates in Europe for organ donation and the point is that this can give people the choice.

"The best example of this is in Belgium. It spent two years discussing and planning the bill, and it was passed - over the next five years, it saw a 55 per cent increase in donation rates.

"When introduced in Belgium only two per cent opted out, currently only around a third of the Welsh population is on the organ donor register and this is around the same for the UK as a whole.

"There are around 250 people on a waiting list for a transplant at any one time - 33 people died in Wales during 2012/2013 while waiting.

"Nobody's going to whip out any organs - a code of practice is being drafted by the Human Tissue Act to ensure that everything is done properly and with dignity.

"If the law is passed, it would come into effect in 2015, which would give the government two years of campaigning to get the message across.

"Deemed consent has a positive and sizeable effect on organ donation rates of some 25%-35% higher on average in presumed consent countries. In opting for this law assembly members are opting for life.”

Dr Dan Boucher, director of parliamentary affairs at Care Credit: Care

Against: Dr Dan Boucher is director of parliamentary affairs at Care, the Christian charity.

"If passed, the law would introduce presumed consent of organ donation in Wales so that everyone would be considered a potential donor, unless they had opted-out.

"A soft opt-out option, however, would mean that the views and feelings of bereaved families would be taken into consideration.

"There is evidence that if you push this forward in an insensitive way, it may actually harm donation numbers

"Chile passed the consent law, and numbers have actually gone down as there is the feeling the state is bypassing people's feelings.

"Families should be given the right to object to the law at what is a very difficult and emotional time for them.

"The Welsh government should have used the money they have spent on this bill on a campaign of awareness to get people to make their own decisions on organ donation. For example, ticking a box when applying for a passport or driving licence would be the chance to volunteer for organ donation.

"This current proposal puts the state into a more grabby posture - it makes people think that the state and health services, doesn't honour the altruism of people, and therefore there is a risk that goodwill will be withdrawn."

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