Automatic organ donation has 'saved dozens of lives'

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A landmark change to the way organs are donated has saved dozens of lives, Wales' health minister will tell Assembly Members later today.

Last year, Wales became the first part of the UK where people automatically become donors after their death unless they object beforehand.

The move - from an "opt in" to an "opt out" system - was criticised by some religious groups.

However, six months on from the law coming into effect, Welsh Government officials say new figures prove the policy has been a life saver.

60 organs were transplanted between December 1 last year and May 1, 2016 - with 32 coming from people whose "consent had been deemed".

This compares with 23 donations in the same period for 2014-15. Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport, is to address fellow AMs about the scheme in the Senedd later today.

Under the new system, those over 18 become potential donors either by registering their decision to opt in or by doing nothing at all.It applies to adults who have lived in the country for more than 12 months and organs available are the same as the "opt-in" method - including kidneys, heart, liver, lungs and pancreas.

According to the figures, 1,000 people in the UK die every year while waiting for a transplant.