Wales: Opt-out donation bill alone won’t leave more organs

A bill to introduce presumed consent for organ donation will not guarantee more organs being available for transplants, the Welsh Government has said.

The controversial Bill, which was published on Monday, would mean everyone is considered a willing donor when they die, unless they have stated otherwise.

But Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “We know a soft opt-out system alone won’t increase donation rates.”


Church groups have previously criticised the plans, warning that they could “alienate” potential donors.

The Archbishop of Wales also raised concern about people’s organs belonging to the state under the proposals.

A review of international evidence showed that opt-out systems are “associated” with a 13–18 per cent increase in organ donation rates, but the Welsh Government admits that other factors play a part.


The presumed consent law would apply to over-18s who die in Wales if they have lived there for more than six months.

The Health Minister says families will have no legal right to stop organs being harvested from a deceased relative.

If the Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill is passed by the Welsh assembly, it could come into force by 2015.

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