- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Press Releases
Mike Hedges AM welcomes news that Families in Wales encouraged to “have the chat” about organ donation wishes
Mike Hedges AM said…. ‘Organ donation can make a very big contribution to transforming people’s lives; it can be a very brave decision following the death of a loved one, and this decision is made easier if there has been a discussion beforehand, so a person’s views are known. I would urge families to discuss organ donations with loved ones so that people’s views are known and understood, and can be respected in the event of their death.’
The Welsh Labour Government is emphasising the importance of talking to family and friends about organ donation in an effort to increase the number of people who register their decision either on the organ donor register or just by making sure family are aware of their wishes.
In 2016-17 data published by NHS Blood and Transplant showed there were 21 cases where families either overrode their relatives’ decisions to donate organs, or didn’t support the deemed consent.
With an average of 3.3 organs retrieved per donor in the UK in 2016-17, this could have resulted in as many as 69 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 unless 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.
As a result of the change an increase in donations is expected over a period of time. Over the last year, there has been a decrease of 18.5% in patients who died whilst on the waiting list for their transplant.