1. ITV Report

Changes to the organ donation law: What the future may hold for Wales

From tomorrow, you will have to opt out of the organ donation register. Credit: ITV News

Tomorrow Wales takes a radical new step in organ donation. From midnight we will have an opt-out system meaning we have to register our wish not to be an organ donor.

  • Opt in: You can opt in and join the organ donor register
  • Opt out: You can opt out and say you're not prepared to have your organs donated
  • Do nothing: Or you can do nothing - where it's then presumed you're happy to donate.

The Welsh Government think hundreds of lives could be saved. For years ministers have studied other countries with the same system one of them is Belgium and that's where our health and social affairs correspondent Rob Osborne has been. In the first of two special reports he looks at what the future may hold for Wales.

A soft-opt out system for organ donation has been in place in Belgium for the last 30 years. Credit: ITV News

After the new law came in Belgium saw a massive rise in available organs. The number of Kidneys available went up 86% in a year.

Increase in kidney donations

Out of a population of 11 million in Belgium, fewer than 200,00 people say they do not wish to donate their organs.

Don't want to donate their organs
International evidence suggests Wales could see a 30% increase in the donation rate. Credit: ITV News

We have to stress the importance [of organ donation] for our society. Dying without donation is dying without the benefit for transplantation for other people.

In Wales many people are dying because people don't know about the benefits of organ donation.

– Dr Bart Nonneman, Intensive Care Doctor in Belgium

Watch Rob Osborne's report:

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