Step closer to presumed organ donation in Wales

The health committee of the Welsh Assembly has backed a controversial Bill to bring in presumed consent for organ donation.

The proposed system would mean everyone is considered a willing donor when they die, unless they have stated otherwise.

The Assembly members who considered the Bill have raised concerns about the role of the family in consenting to organ donation, saying there needs to be “clarity and consistency”.


But Health Minister Mark Drakeford said he is “determined” to put the presumed consent system on the statute books in Wales.

He also said the law would not “ride roughshod” over the strong feelings of family members.

The committee heard evidence from Church groups who heavily criticised the proposed system.


Churchman Geraint Hopkins said, “the positive ethos of donation as a free gift is endangered by an ill-judged if well intentioned proposal to move from voluntary donation to presumed consent”.

And Joyce Robins of Patient Concern, which speaks on behalf of health service users, called the proposed Bill “horrible” and based on a “falsehood”.

She said: “You would be pretending that you have agreement when you have no such thing.”


The Bill will now move to stage two of the legislative process where a significant number of amendments are expected.

If it is passed by the Welsh assembly, it could come into force by 2015.

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