- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Latest News
National Transplant Week’s “Pass it on” message will be strengthened by proposed new soft opt-out system in Wales, the Welsh Government’s Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths, said today.
Figures released today to mark National Transplant Week show family support for organ donation more than doubles when people know about their loved one’s wishes. The figures, released by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) reveal that, across the UK, over half of all people questioned had not discussed their views on organ donation with their families. This year’s National Transplant Week theme, “Pass it On”, highlights the importance of discussing organ donation with family and friends so they know what they would like to happen after their death.
Faced with having to make the decision themselves after the death of a loved one, and not knowing what they wanted, many families refuse consent to organ donation. This means more people die unnecessarily on transplant waiting lists.
The Welsh Government is currently consulting on the draft Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill which will introduce a soft opt-out system for consent to organ and tissue donation in Wales. A soft opt-out system means that unless a person either registers a wish to be a donor or not to be a donor during their lifetime, their consent to organ donation will be deemed to have been given. However, under a soft opt-out, families will still be involved in discussions about organ donation, as they are now.
International evidence suggests in countries with opt-out systems, families are more likely to feel able to take part in the organ donation process because they are assured that, had their loved one objected to organ donation, they would have opted out.