Thursday, 8 March 2012
Health Minister Lesley Griffiths has taken the opportunity of World Kidney Day to thank all those who took part in the public consultation on Welsh Government plans for legislation on organ and tissue donation.
A total of 1,234 replies were received, and a summary of those responses have been published. To mark the publication of the report, and to highlight World Kidney Day, the Minister met staff and patients in the Renal Unit at Wrexham Maelor Hospital this morning.
The consultation took place between 7 November 2011 and 31 January 2012. Although it did not explicitly invite respondents to state support or objection to the proposals, 91% of those who responded gave a view. 52% of all respondents (646) supported the proposals, and 39% (478) opposed.
Lesley Griffiths said:
“I am very pleased with the excellent number of responses to the consultation on this important piece of legislation, which will save lives.“I am aware the subject of organ donation is highly emotive and that many people have strong views on the issue. The Welsh Government is committed to introducing a soft opt-out system of organ donation which, evidence suggests, could increase the number of organ donations by up to 25 per cent.“For people in need of a transplant, like some of those I met at Wrexham Maelor’s Renal Unit today, the move towards legislation is significant. While Wales has recently seen an increase in donated organs and tissues, on average one person a week in Wales dies while waiting for a transplant because a suitable donor cannot be found.“The proposed legislation has brought to the fore some very interesting discussion about organ donation. As a result, we have had very thoughtful contributions to the consultation, for which I am grateful.“We will now give those contributions careful consideration as we develop the draft Bill, which we intend to publish for consultation before the summer."The aim is for the new system to be in place in 2015. In the meantime, it is important people discuss their wishes with family and friends, and sign up to the organ donor register."
Source: Welsh Assembly Government