Wales pursues presumed consent for organ donation

Wales hopes to become the first UK nation to introduce presumed consent for organ donation in plans put before the devolved government.

The Welsh Assembly government will seek the power to introduce presumed consent for organ donation in Wales. Under the plans, people would have to opt out of the organ donation system rather than opt in.

Health professionals will still consult with families on whether they wish their relative to donate an organ after death under the system.

Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones said he hoped the move would increase the number of organs available for transplant.

Latest figures from the end of March show that there were 333 people on the waiting list for a transplant in Wales.

Mr Jones said: 'Many people will wait years for a transplant but sadly, many people die waiting on the list. I hope that by introducing presumed consent, we will not only reduce the waiting list but reduce the number of people who needlessly die waiting.

'To ensure we maximise the number of people who donate after death, it will be important that people discuss their wishes with their family. I know nobody finds it easy to think and talk about our death, but it is essential we do so our families know our wishes.’

Welsh health minister Edwina Hart added: 'There has been an increase in the number of people on the organ donor register but we need to do more if we are to help the hundreds of people in Wales that require an organ now and in the future.

'I am convinced that this is the best way forward and meets the wishes of the Welsh people.'

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