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Thursday, 4 March 2010

Wales could lead the way…..

Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams has laid an early day motion backing Wales’ decision to explore moving to a system of presumed consent. It says:

“That this House welcomes the announcement by the Welsh Assembly Government that Wales will move to a system of presumed consent, based on a soft opt-out system for organ donation; congratulates the patients and organisations, led by the Kidney Wales Foundation, on persuading the Welsh Assembly Government to take this step; recognises the overwhelming public support for such a move; and, following a free vote in the National Assembly for Wales, looks forward to supporting that move in this House, alongside a strengthened infrastructure to support the change.”

View the signatories here

This EDM has good cross-party support, and I hope to see more signatures added to the list over the next few weeks.

I’m glad that the Welsh Assembly Government are willing to take the lead, and send a clear message to the rest of the UK that a 'soft' system of presumed consent would increase donation rates and save Welsh lives.

BMA Cymru Wales believe that moving to a system of presumed consent, where it is assumed that people are willing to donate their organs after death unless they opt out, combined with other reforms to the transplant infrastructure, would play an important part in improving the organ donation system so that more lives can be saved.

The main difficulty with the current system is that where, as in the majority of cases, relatives do not know what their loved ones wishes are, they frequently, and understandably, opt for the default position, which is not to donate.

This would be addressed by the introduction of an opt-out system where the default position would change in favour of donation. We recognise this is a subject many people hold strong views about and as such, those who do not want to donate their organs will sign up to opt out.

The fact is, that people are dying while waiting for an organ transplant. It is vital therefore, that we increase the number of donors available, and we believe that a system of presumed consent with safeguards will do this.

A shift towards making donation the default position would reflect a positive view of donation, demonstrating the very strong support for it within society today. Therefore, over time donation would come to be seen as the norm, rather than the exception.

BMA Cymru Wales want what's best for patients, and ensuring a supply of organs that will meet current and growing demand must remain our ultimate goal.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, well done to the Kidney Wales Foundation for an excellent campaign. Without them, this would never have happened


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