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First steps in opt-out donor system welcomed

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 05, 2012

By Helen Keates

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A PROPOSED law which could help save lives has been welcomed by people and politicians.

The Welsh Government has taken the first step in introducing legislation to create an opt-out system for organ donation, instead of the current opt-in system.

Yesterday the Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill was laid before the Welsh Assembly.

To coincide with it, a new publicity campaign has been launched alongside two international evidence reviews into soft opt-out systems and the role of relatives.

Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said: "Organ donation saves and improves lives. We are delivering on our commitment, supported by the public, to introduce an opt-out system of organ donation.

"The role of the family is critical in informing the final decision on what happens to their relative's organs. The wishes of the deceased are paramount and the vast majority of the people of Wales do expect their wishes to be what really counts. For that reason, as is the case now, the family has no legal right to veto but, in practice, a clinician would never add to their distress by insisting on donation."

Plaid Cymru Health spokeswoman, Elin Jones AM said the party welcomed the system.

She added: "More and more people are waiting for transplants every year and as things stand too many people are dying while on the waiting list and it would be wrong not to act. We know from studies and first-hand experience that there are a lot of people who would like to be organ donors but may not be registered to do so."

The Liberal Democrats also welcomed the bill, but added that "communication was key".

Shadow Health Minister Kirsty Williams said: "A switch to presumed consent will mean there are more organs available for people waiting for a transplant. Wales has an opportunity to lead the way in the UK to ensure that people who are on the waiting list for organs do not die unnecessarily, but this emotive issue must be conducted carefully by the Welsh Government who must communicate with the people of Wales throughout the process.

"The Welsh Government has stated that it is to run a campaign in order to encourage families to talk about organ donation. This, I believe, is essential. Communication will be key if this bill is going to make progress through the Senedd."

Those who have experienced the life-changing effects of organ donation have also welcomed the bill.

Helen Jones, 44, of Glynneath, suffered from the rare kidney condition glomerulosclerosis, and was on dialysis three times a week for about six years and as a result had a very poor quality of life.

Six years ago, she received the life-changing call to say there was a kidney for her.

She said: "Hopefully the law will be passed in Wales, and there will be more organs available to help save more lives."

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  • maxmin  |  December 08 2012, 11:59AM

    Scooby, You make some excellent points. It's called the Law of Unintended Consequences, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if a lot of present donors who have faithfully supported this very worthwhile voluntary scheme might now think about withdrawing, now that coercion has been added to the mix.

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  • scooby59  |  December 07 2012, 1:13PM

    Myself, my husband and (indrectly via myself) my three young children are all currently on the donor register. However, this is on the assumption a UK resident were in need of it were the inevitable to happen. Once this bill is passed, I will be looking stringently into the small print, as if the NHS were thinking about sending our organs outside the UK, I will be immediately removing said five members of my family from the register. The UK government need to think very carefully about this bill as even though they are leaving it upto the individual to opt out, they may find that more people than they thought will be coming off the register, which will leave them in a much worse predicament.

  • Neathboy234  |  December 07 2012, 9:19AM

    maxmin I've told u what i think on this subject. I think this law is a great move, and the only people who will be against it are those who quite frankly don't like being told what to do. We see these sort of people everywhere from youths with a problem with authority to grumpy old men who don't respect the police and the law. BTW perhaps me and you could find some common ground, these are the things i'm in favor of. Have a read through and see if you agree with any of them. I'm pro EU, Devolution, The Welsh language, Human rights, Gay marriage, Green energy, Women rights, Euthanasia, and of course opt-out donor proposed in Wales. I'm against religion of all types(especially religion in school), Racism of all sorts, Islamophobia, and last but not least the x factor single becoming number 1 over x mass.

    |   -4
  • maxmin  |  December 07 2012, 8:32AM

    Neathboy CLM AH You really must stop bossing everyone around and telling them how they should feel. "Stork it is of course about organ donation, and we should all think ourselves lucky that we live in a progressive country like Wales." If you feel yourself lucky to live in Wales that's fine but let others make up their own minds. Yes this article is about organ donation and I have commented on it on more than one occasion only to be met by you with another series of abusive name calling and ad hominem attacks. You have a brain so use it to form your own thoughts and ideas, stop accepting blindly everything that those in authority dictate, question, discuss, debate. You cannot expect everyone to agree with you and for you to insist that this shows they 'hate Wales' and should be deported is just childish and quite frankly wearisome. Stop writing like some silly teenager who has just discovered texting for the first time, cut out the nonsense and let's hear what you really think.

    |   -1
  • Neathboy234  |  December 06 2012, 8:43PM

    Stork it is of course about organ donation, and we should all think ourselves lucky that we live in a progressive country like Wales. I'm sure in time England will follow our lead, just like they did with the smoking ban, and no doubt in time the charge for plastic bag's. We can't change the world in one day, but we can change small things every day. Sorry if i sounded a little like Michael Jackson.

    |   -6
  • Stork  |  December 06 2012, 8:29PM

    Neathboy234 This story is about organ donation. Organs being donated, or being taken. You don't half rise to the bait !

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  • Neathboy234  |  December 06 2012, 4:25PM

    philco hi mate, IC your running to the aid of your mate again. Do you post on any other subject other than your alter ego. BTW maxmin if you want to say sorry for accusing me of stalking u feel free. I haven't taken offence, and i was only happy to put you right.

    |   -7
  • philco  |  December 06 2012, 3:50PM

    weslangdon if you check the posts youll find maximin has been trying to address the story but has ben subject to a non stop barrage of abuse and personal attacks by neatboy.

    |   5
  • maxmin  |  December 06 2012, 3:26PM

    Weslangdon, when I need you to act the schoolmarm I'll ask you, until then if you don't like reading what I have written then please don't read it- fair enough?

    |   -2
  • maxmin  |  December 06 2012, 1:58PM

    Neathboy CLM AH what's this something else you and I agree on? Your latest offering at 1238 ""maxmin eveyone is entitled to their views i've never said that" no you've never said that as you obviously don't believe that. Your rather childish insistence that I hate Wales is just silly, but as you admire Goebbels so much I suppose you have to keep saying it! It's quite ironic as I recently received a copy of a letter sent to the department in the WG who send me out to give talks from a lecturer at one of the colleges I give talks at, he specifically mentions " David also promotes Wales, with a good overview on a World dimension, which fits in very well with the requirements of the Advanced Baccalaureate. The presentation to the students is always dynamic, and following the recent presentation students thanked Mr Phelps for a most interesting lecture, with no prompting from me" (Full letter available on request.) Strange isn't it here I am hating Wales so much I go out of my way to promote it?

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