Changes to organ donations in Wales a step closer

Donor card, organ donation, presumed consent
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The Welsh Government will today unveil the results of its consultation over plans for a system of presumed consent for organ donation.

ITV Wales understands that most responses have been positive and that Health Minister Lesley Griffiths will continue with her plans, meaning Wales would be the first country in the UK to introduce such a system.

The Welsh Government's proposals for a "soft opt-out" system of organ donation were issued for consultation between 7 November 2011 and 31 January 2012. A soft opt-out scheme means unless an individual makes an objection, their organs and tissues will be obtainable for donation after their death. After death, relatives would also be involved in the decision making process.

It is hoped that such a system would drastically reduce the number of people on the waiting list for organs. At the moment, 35 people in Wales die every year waiting for a donor organ, and just 30 per cent of people in Wales are on the organ donation register

However, there is significant levels of opposition to the scheme. Religious leaders and some doctors question the evidence that suggests that soft opt-out actually leads to an increase in donations. They also say it raises moral and trust issues between patients and doctors.