Wales passes organ donor law

Welsh lawmakers have passed a controversial scheme that assumes consent for organ and tissue donation among people who do not state a preference. Assembly Members voted in favour of the new law by 43 votes to eight with two abstentions.

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Organ donor changes in Wales: Your views

As Wales prepares to pass a law which would make it the only UK country which has an opt-out organ donation system, ITV viewers have been giving their views via our Facebook page.

"Personally myself being on dialysis for 28 years I feel organ donation is a fab thing I wonder if people would feel the same if attached to dialysis every other day for 4 hrs at a time."

– MICHELLE BARGERY

"Better to opt out than opt in - too few organs around and most people seem to be happy to donate but don't get round to signing a consent form."

– GENNI JUSTGENNI

"Saving lives should not be optional but just a way of life."

– CARLY CRISPIN

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Organ recipient: Waiting for donor 'like being on death row'

Melanie Wager, who received a kidney in July 2010, has welcomed the proposed change to the law in Wales, saying:

Waiting for an organ is an extremely difficult time for anyone - it is like being on death row and it seems as if you are being further punished for being ill.

Mentally, it is cruel for the patient and the caring family.

Read: Proposed Welsh scheme assumes organ donor consent

Organ donor's family to be consulted under Welsh plan

The Kidney Wales Foundation, which was involved in the formulation of the 'opt-out' organ donor scheme in Wales, has stressed that family consent is vital.

All Welsh residents will be able to register their personal wishes regarding organ donation ... If you do not opt-in, or opt-out, if you do nothing, you will have deemed to consent to organ donation ...

Deemed consent donation will not go ahead in the absence of any family member.

Kidney Wales believe the presence of the family is essential - both as a source of necessary information about the potential donor and in order to ensure that donation does not go ahead in the face of the deceased's known objection to organ donation.

– Roy Thomas, chief executive, Kidney Wales Foundation

Welsh health minister: Majority of people wish to donate

Welsh health minister Mark Drakeford has argued that a new scheme that assumes consent for organ donation will increase the number of organs available for transplant.

He highlighted the fact that surveys have shown that a majority of Welsh people wish to be a donor.

Deemed consent will bring about a cultural shift in the way donation proceeds in Wales.

It will alter the nature of some of the most difficult conversations that any family might face, and it will help to ensure that the wishes of that substantial majority of Welsh citizens who say, in survey after survey, that they would wish to be a donor, are put into practice in those very rare and special circumstances when donation is possible.

– Mark Drakeford, health minister for wales
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