'Opt-out' organ donation laws could be imposed Wales
The Welsh government has launched a consultation which is looking at the possibility of introducing soft opt-out donor laws to the UK.
If the proposed legislation is given approval, families would be unable to prevent their deceased relative’s organs being taken to be used in transplants unless they had opted out of the scheme.
An opt-out law would be the first of its kind to be imposed in the UK and it is hoped it will increase the number of organ donations, as the UK has one of the lowest rates in Europe.
The system of organ donation that is currently in place in the UK sees people opt-in to joining the donor registration if they want, it is not compulsory.
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Despite optimistic consultations and discussions currently taking place and the proposals gaining praise from health organisation, there have been some concerns over the plans.
The UK Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths, said she could not envisage a situation where doctors would take organs for transplant without having the families consent beforehand.
She also commented: “When people die, donation of their organs and tissues is often possible but currently does not happen - not because they did not wish to donate, but because they never got round to joining the organ donor register.
“Repeated surveys show the majority of people in the UK and Wales believe in organ donation, but only one in three people in Wales have joined the organ donor register.
Griffiths added: “Last year 67 percent of donors were not on the organ donor register. Therefore we believe creating an environment in which donation is the norm and will enable more organs to be available.”
If the proposals become reality, it is thought the new law will come into force in 2015.
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