by Gopalan on  January 13, 2011 at 9:10 AM Organ Donation News
 Presumed Consent Legislation In Wales
Wales is set to become the first country in the UK to put in place an "opt-out" organ donation system.

Currently, people there must have signed up to the organ donation register for their organs to be taken for use in transplants upon their death. 

A legislation for the purpose has been placed before the National Assembly.

Once it is passed, medics would be able to use organs unless the deceased had specifically registered their opposition.

But even if a person had not opted out during their lifetime, relatives would still be consulted before organs are harvested.

Campaigners believe an opt-out system will increase the number of organs for transplantation and prevent people dying while on the waiting list.

It is expected that vulnerable groups, including under-18s and those "lacking capacity," will be explicitly excluded from any changes.

International evidence shows that in countries with an "opt-out" system, such as Austria and Spain, the amount of organs available for transplant increases by around 30%. When Belgium introduced the opt-out system its national rate of organ donation rose by 55% within five years.

The Kidney Wales Foundation has already been calling for the rest of the UK to follow the proposals, and the British Medical Association (BMA) has backed Wales' opt-out system move.

A recent report by the Kidney Wales Foundation showed that 90% of people say they support organ donation but less than 25% have actually signed the register.

Traditionally organ donors have come from two groups: road accident and brain. haemorrhage patients. Improved road safety and medical intervention mean that fewer in both groups are dying.

It is currently estimated that one person in Wales dies every 11 days while waiting for a kidney transplant.

The number of people needing a transplant is expected to rise steeply over the next decade due to an ageing population, an increase in kidney failure and scientific advances resulting in more people being suitable for a transplant.

Roy J. Thomas, chairman of Kidney Wales, told BBC last year,  "Despite decades of campaigning, only 28% of people have joined the organ donor register in the UK - yet study after study shows that most people would wish to donate their organs," he said.

"The reality is that people in the UK are dying at a rate of three per day. This switch will save lives."

Source: Medindia

Most Popular on Medindia