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Author Topic: Wales votes for opt-out on organ donation  (Read 2739 times)

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Offline Clark

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Wales votes for opt-out on organ donation
« on: July 04, 2013, 02:02:57 PM »

Wales votes for opt-out on organ donation
Louise Prime

Wales is set to become the first of the UK nations to adopt a system of presumed consent for organ donation, following an “historic” vote last night by the National Assembly for Wales.

AMs voted by a strong majority of 43 to 8 in favour of passing the Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill, which means that by 2015 Wales should have introduced a “soft opt-out system” for organ donation – in effect, people will be deemed to have given their consent to donating their organs after their death unless they have actively opted in or out.

The “landmark” change has been hailed as “arguably the most significant piece of legislation passed by the National Assembly for Wales since it acquired additional lawmaking powers in 2011”.

Health minister Mark Drakeford said: “I am proud that Wales will be the first nation in the UK to take this step. As a society, we have shown we are prepared to take action to increase organ donation and to provide hope to those people waiting every week for a transplant.

“Family refusal is a major factor that affects the numbers of organ donations and the main reason for refusal is lack of knowledge of their loved one’s wishes ... When family members know that organ donation is what the deceased would have wanted they usually agree to participate in the donation process. The new law will work by clarifying people’s wishes around the issue of organ donation and, in turn, increase the rate of consent to donation.

“Today is a landmark day for Wales, and I expect the rest of the UK to be watching with great interest when the legislation is implemented in 2015.”

Chair of the BMA in Northern Ireland Dr Paul Darragh welcomed the news from Wales, and urged everyone in Northern Ireland to take part in the consultation over introducing similar legislation there. He said this morning: “We believe that genuine choice over organ donation can be facilitated through what we have termed a ‘soft’ opt-out system whereby adults – who have been well informed of the options, can choose to opt-out of organ donation during their lifetime …

“I would urge everyone to take the time to learn more about what is meant by an opt-out system of organ donation and to make their views known via the current consultation.”

Earlier this week the American Thoracic Society released an official statement on the ethical and health policy considerations surrounding adult and paediatric controlled organ donation after circulatory determination of death (DCDD).

The statement, which appears in full in the 1 July issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, says: “When patients themselves have consented to organ donation, hospital critical care and organ procurement organisation representatives should respect the patient’s decision and provide this information to surrogate decision makers … After clinicians lead discussions with patients or surrogates about the decisions to withdraw life-sustaining therapies, discussions about DCDD should proceed promptly.”
Unrelated directed kidney donor in 2003, recipient and I both well.
625 time blood and platelet donor since 1976 and still giving!
Elected to the OPTN/UNOS Boards of Directors & Executive, Kidney Transplantation, and Ad Hoc Public Solicitation of Organ Donors Committees, 2005-2011
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