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Friday, 18 December 2009

Organ Donation in Wales

BMA Cymru Wales is delighted with the announcement that the WAG will explore the possibility of introducing a soft opt out system for organ donation in Wales, and that a bid for a Legislative Competence Order will be submitted.

I hope that this brave decision by the Health Minister will mark a small step towards ending the tragedy of patients dying while waiting for a transplant.

Organ transplantation saves lives and it can transform the lives of people suffering disability and the tremendous burden of dialysis. There have been many high profile cases highlighted by the media over the last few years which touched us all.

As long ago as 2000, doctors voted for an opt-out/presumed consent scheme to be introduced in the UK following its success on the continent which increased the number of organs available for transplants and therefore reduced the number of patients who die waiting for a transplant. They also agreed that a public education campaign about the merits of organ donation should take place before introducing the scheme.

BMA Cymru Wales will continue to work with the Welsh Assembly Government, Kidney Wales, and other partners over the next few months to raise public awareness of the urgent need for change and the rationale behind the presumed consent option.

Tell us what you think of the announcement.

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