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Changes to Welsh donor rules published today

Proposals will add people to the organ donor register automatically unless they opt out

Ingrid Torjesen

Monday, 18 June 2012

Legislation to change the organ donation system in Wales to a system of presumed consent in an attempt to boost the number of donors is set to be published by the Welsh government today.

If the legislation is passed, Wales would by the first UK country to move to an opt-out scheme, which means everyone is assumed to have consented to becoming a donor when they die, and only those who object will be taken off the register. At present Wales has an opt-in system.

The draft Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill follows a public consultation, which ministers say found that there was public support for their plans. The bill has to pass through the Welsh Assembly and then the new system could be in place by 2015, allowing time for a public information campaign.

Despite a record 83 people donating organs in 2010, people continue to die because of a shortage of donated organs and the Welsh government believes the new system would increase the number available. There are currently 300 people on the transplant waiting list in Wales.

The Church in Wales, the Roman Catholic Church in Wales and the Wales Orthodox Mission have called for a re-think of the proposals.

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