Organ donation in Wales

Last week, Assembly Members voted through the Assembly final regulations that support the change in the law to organ donation in Wales. From the 1st December 2015, the way people register their organ donation choice will change. Unless people specifically opt out, their consent is presumed. With less than two months to go before the change, Bridgend AM Carwyn Jones has encouraged his constituents to ensure that they are fully informed about the forthcoming change in the law.

Since the Act was passed in 2013, there has been a great deal of work undertaken to prepare for this fundamental change, including extensive advertising on TV, radio and on social media.

People need to be over 18 years of age and have lived in Wales for more than 12 months for deemed consent to apply. People will be treated as a donor unless they have registered a decision not to be a donor. Thus, if people have not registered a clear preference, namely opted in or opted out , then they will be treated as having no objection to being an organ donor, and this will be deemed consent.

Carwyn Jones AM said “By legislating and moving to presumed consent, the aim is to increase the number of potential organ donors and ultimately increase the number of organs available for transplant. The law will clarify your organ donation decisions so that your loved ones can ensure that they are carried out. It will also offer hope to those people across Wales whose lives are on hold whilst they await a new organ”.