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‘Opt-out’ donation scheme for Wales

3 July 2013

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Wales has become the first UK nation to introduce an opt-out system of consent for organ and tissue donation.

The system, which will come into effect in 2015, means it will be assumed that adults who live and die in Wales consent to donation unless they register their wish now to be a donor.

The Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill will reverse the current system which relies on people signing up to a voluntary system and carrying a donor card.

The Welsh government wants to drive up transplant rates by 25% and says the new scheme will save lives.

Welsh Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: “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.”

Drakeford noted that family refusal is a “major factor” affecting the number of organ donations.

He said the new law will work by “clarifying people’s wishes” around the issue, which will then lead to increased donation.