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Two-thirds of Welsh people back organ donation opt-out

5th March 2012

The people of Wales have voiced significant support in favour of the introduction of opt-out organ donation.

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A poll carried out for BBC Wales has found that 63% of voters backed a system of presumed consent, while 31% of respondents were against.

The Welsh government has plans to change the law which will see all organs made available for donation for transplant when a person dies, unless they specifically object to that.

A consultation on the change of law in favour of presumed consent has been held and the Welsh government is currently considering the responses with a bill expected later this year in what would be the first system of its kind in the UK.

A more detailed breakdown of the poll shows that 67% of women were in favour, compared to 59% of men.

Supporters of the move say it will make more organs available for transplant.

At present people must first sign up to the organ donor register but under presumed consent, it would be assumed automatically that everyone has agreed to organ donation, unless they opt out.

The British Medical Association has called for fresh debate in the UK on organ donation to keep up with the demand for organs for transplant and has indicated that new types of donors may need to be considered, such as brain dead patients kept alive on ventilators.

Roy Thomas of Kidney Wales Foundation welcomed the findings of the poll and added: "People are seeing that it's important to save lives, that's the clear message".

 

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