Welsh government publishes landmark legislation on organ donations

The Welsh government today published for consultation draft legislation to provide for a system of presumed consent for organ donations.

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In what amounts to a genuinely pioneering measure across the UK, the Welsh government has today published for consultation draft legislation to provide for a system of presumed consent for organ donations.

organ-donationWhilst figures show that over a third of people in Wales are now on the organ donor register with a corresponding 49% increase in donation rates since 2008, there nevertheless remains a shortage of donors, leading to the deaths of 37 people in Wales in 2011/12 due to a donor not being found in time.

Under the proposal, contained within the draft Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill out now for consultation, adults who live and die in Wales will have been deemed to have given consent for their organs to be used for transplant if they had not opted out of the system.

Ministers in Cardiff expect the reforms to take effect from 2015.

Arguing the measure would “save lives”, health minister Lesley Griffiths said of the proposals:

“One donor can improve or save the lives of up to nine other people by donating their organs and many more through the donation of their tissues. I believe the time has come to introduce a change in the law, together with an extensive communication and education programme encouraging people to make a decision and to ensure their families know their wishes.”

With the British Medical Association having already come out in support of the measure, an initial consultation in Wales found that 52  per cent of respondents supported the proposals with 39 per cent against. There is, though, vocal opposition.


See also:

Church leaders say no to Welsh government’s organ donation proposals 28 Jan 2012


In January, churches across Wales united in raising their fears over the impact of the changes with Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox leaders having argued that the “positive ethos of donation as a free gift” was being “endangered by an ill-judged if well-intentioned proposal to move from voluntary donation to presumed consent”.

While UK health secretary Andrew Lansley is known to be opposed to a move to presumed consent in England, Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to revisit the issue in 2013, and in Northern Ireland, Assembly Members passed a motion in February calling on health minister Edwin Poots to undertake a review of organ donation to include:

“All options for increasing organ donations and carrying out a clinical ethics consultation on the introduction of an opt-out scheme.”


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21 Responses to “Welsh government publishes landmark legislation on organ donations”

  1. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Welsh government publishes landmark legislation on organ donations http://t.co/lQBhzeaB

  2. NewsatLeft

    Welsh government publishes landmark legislation on organ donations http://t.co/CI0HVwkZ #GoodSociety #NHS #NHSWales #organdonation #organs

  3. NewsatLeft

    Welsh government publishes landmark legislation on organ donations http://t.co/6pIW1Snt #GoodSociety #NHS #NHSWales #organdonation #organs

  4. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – Welsh government publishes landmark legislation on organ donations http://t.co/egYo2HDw

  5. Ed Jacobs

    RT @leftfootfwd: Welsh government publishes landmark legislation on organ donations http://t.co/AeJRlNhM

  6. Political Planet

    Welsh government publishes landmark legislation on organ donations: The Welsh government today published for con… http://t.co/VXlLeTRj

  7. Lord Blagger

    It’s unethical. The state doesn’t own your body.

    Look at what happens when the state starts behaving in this way.


    It just takes someone like Beveridge to extend their eugenicist views and before you know it people aren’t being resuscitated because some politician needs their body parts.

    If you want a system, there is an alternative to opt out or opt in which doesn’t have drawbacks.

    If you want a driving license you have to tick one of two boxes. Opt out or opt in. No presumption is needed.

    Until that is introduced, I’ve revoked my permission.

  8. Anonymous

    Then opt out for god sake, my only worry is we in Wales will end up supply bloody England when we have enough people here , or some bright spark will decide he or she can get money from selling organs to American.

    If the Organs are to be used in Wales great. after all if you do not want it opt out

  9. Gary Francis

    It isn’t a case of a potential recipient’s nationality. It’s whether they’re medically suitable that counts. Don’t forget that you lot in Wales get free prescriptions, and certain treatments/drugs are available in Wales, but not in England, so we’ll have less of the chippy racism, please. How would you like it if we in England refused to help a suitable recipient in Wales? You’d be screaming blue murder. Mind you, the British government would only allow discrimination against English people.

  10. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Welsh government publishes landmark legislation on organ donations http://bit.ly/LW4HU4

  11. Stephen Wigmore

    This is disgusting. The government does not have a right to my organs. The opt-out bullshit is a transparent attempt to trap people who won’t be aware enough of what is happening to opt-out. This is a sinister extension of government control over us deep into our own bodies. These fascists can fuck right off.

  12. Anonymous

    I was with you right up to “fascists”. They’re stateists, of the same sort found in both Labour and the Tories in profusion.

  13. Anonymous

    Ah yes, fascists, you can’t cope with people having turned AWAY from your Eugenics.

  14. Anonymous

    And I’ll opt out if necessary, there is NOT a consensus on medical ethics on this and Jewish ethics is against heart transplants (the Jewish definition of dead is heart-death, NOT brain-dead).

    There are plenty of steps which can be taken without expanding the state’s power this way, including stock forms for living wills (for free), allowing people’s previously-expressed content to be overriding (currently organs are not harvested if a close family member objects, I find this disgusting) and allowing a fixed payment* for after-death donations (NOT live donations!).

    (*In particular, to cover funeral costs where someone hasn’t made arrangements, which is unfortunately common among organ donors, being typically far younger…)

    Importantly, is this being doing on residence or location? I’m sometimes in Wales, and if I need an opt-out card it’s NOT going to leave my wallet…

  15. Anonymous

    Ah yes, it’s all a giant conspiracy theory aimed at you.

  16. Mr. Sensible

    I think I would be in favour of this. Under the current system, if someone said they wanted to but didn’t do anything before they died, there is little anyone can actually do.

  17. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Welsh government publishes landmark legislation on organ donations http://t.co/lQBhzeaB

  18. Anonymous

    Then sort it out Gary the Welsh Government, the Welsh labour party is more socialist then the prats you have in England. But it’s been stated this will benefit the Welsh people waiting on waiting lists, then have stated England has to put in place it’s own rules.

    Right as well, free prescriptions you lot voted and kept voting in Blair do not blame me, I do not vote in English elections anymore.

    Mae Cymru bellach yn wlad

  19. Cynic

    The comments about ‘x has no right to my organs’ are retarded. What use to you are your organs after you die? None. Why not give someone else a chance at survival?

  20. Anonymous

    “Gary”. Mm-hum.

    And I never voted for Blair.

  21. Anonymous

    Because, for one thing, my religions ethics considers heart transplants murder? There usually isn’t an easy way to indicate this except a total optout. (And yes, I’d be prepared to take legal action if there was favorable treatment of people who didn’t).

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