Mike Hedges AM welcomes New organ donation campaign which highlights a family’s role in the process
The Welsh Labour Government has launched a major new campaign focusing on the role of families in the organ donation process.
Mike Hedges AM said… I welcome this campaign which builds on the success of the policy of having to presumed not to have any objection to being involved in transplants. I have met many people who have benefited from this policy and it really is a life changing policy which has benefited so many people. I would urge families to discuss this issue so that loved ones are aware of people’s wishes in the event of their death. Hard though these conversations may be, they would have real life changing consequences for people on the transplant list.
The hard-hitting advertisement shows an individual’s choice to donate his organs being over-ridden by family members, because he didn’t talk to them about his decision or his registration on the organ donor register to become a donor.
In 2016-17 data published by NHS Blood and Transplant showed there were 21 cases in Wales where families either overrode their relatives’ decisions to donate organs, or didn’t support the deemed consent.
With an average of 3.1 organs retrieved per donor in Wales in 2016-17, this could have resulted in as many as 65 additional transplants.
On 1 December 2015, Wales was the first country in the UK to move to a soft opt-out system of consent to organ donation. This means that if a person has not registered a decision to become an organ donor (opted in) or a decision not to become an organ donor (opted out), they will be considered as having no objection to being an organ donor – this is known as deemed consent. However, if individuals don’t tell their family of their decision to donate, the family may not honour that decision and over-ride the organ donor registration or not support deemed consent.
You can see the campaign here