KIDNEY WALES RESPONSE TO WRITTEN STATEMENT BY WELSH ASSEMBLY GOVERNMENT ON
ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION LEGISLATIVE COMPETENCE ORDER, 17 NOVEMBER 2010

Roy J Thomas Chairman of Kidney Wales who have campaigned on soft opt out for over three years said: “Patients are pleased that the Welsh Assembly Government are aware that they cannot afford to be complacent. We have met the Secretary of State for Wales and impressed on her the wishes of the people of Wales and the patients and carers who are waiting. We asked The Secretary of State to raise this important issue at UK Cabinet level as it is the Government of Wales seeking a competent change in the law from the UK Government with cross party support here in Wales. We raised the matter with Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg when in Opposition and are awaiting a response now that they are in power. A progressive government would change the law.”

Mr Thomas added “Other progressive countries have made the change and Belgium in particular who changed the law in 1986 have received remarkable results. All our polls and talk shows conducted show that people in our country want a change in the law to ensure more organs are available and avoid the human cruelty of waiting. Politicians have started to put themselves in the shoes of those who are on the waiting list and that is a good step forward.”

Melanie Wager who recently received a kidney transplant in Cardiff said: “I have been fortunate but many are waiting and are in despair. This change gives people hope .Being on dialysis and seeing your body deteriorate is hard but harder for your loved ones as they are literally watching you die. I am no longer in that position. I can only ask the Secretary of State for Wales to move on the legislation and agree with the Government here for all those waiting for organ transplants who I know who are waiting to see progress. The First Minister has pushed hard for this and we know the Leader of the Opposition is also in favour as are the other parties. We now need action not words from politicians who know that changing the law will save lives.”

ENDS

English and Welsh speaking case studies and spokespeople are available for interview. Contact Tristan Williams (029 2034 3940 / 07590 216 784).

NOTES TO EDITOR

1. Kidney Wales has campaigned for a number of years to change the law in the UK. Under the favored

Kidney Wales system of Soft Opt Out Welsh residents are presumed to be organ donors on death unless:

• They have joined an opt out register

• They cannot be identified

• The person’s place of residence cannot be identified

• The wishes of the deceased can be proven to be contrary after relatives have been contacted

• Immediate relatives object

2. Nearly 444 people in Wales are waiting for a transplant, across the UK 10,000 people are.

3. A short Q and A on opt out organ donation is attached with more information available on www.optforlife.org

ABOUT THE KIDNEY WALES FOUNDATION

www.kidneywales.com

Established in 1967, Kidney Wales has had over forty years of success in supporting and working with kidney patients in Wales. During this time the charity has supported many aspects of kidney patient care in Wales including transplantation, dialysis, research and patient welfare. Kidney Wales played a major role in getting an organ donor card attached to driving licences in the UK and was instrumental in setting up Lifeline Wales – a computer register of people willing to be organ donors in the event of their death.

In 2007 Kidney Wales launched the ‘People Like Us’ campaign, which put renal patients centre stage as they articulated their vision on how Wales could become a world class provider of renal services . With over 444 people waiting for a transplant in Wales, a chronic shortage of organs and increasing demand, People Like Us had three key suggestions for how to save lives:

• delivering a new dedicated transplant unit for Wales;
• working with partners to deliver a substantial increase in donors; and
• introducing legislation in Wales for Soft Opt Out / Presumed Consent.

All three of these objectives have been met with positive responses from the Welsh Assembly Government and National Assembly for Wales.

The Kidney Wales Foundation also organises the organ donation campaign in Wales; working with six other charities and the British Medical Association to encourage more people to join the organ donor register.
www.donatewales.orgKIDNEY WALES RESPONSE TO WRITTEN STATEMENT BY WELSH ASSEMBLY GOVERNMENT ON
ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION LEGISLATIVE COMPETENCE ORDER, 17 NOVEMBER 2010

Roy J Thomas Chairman of Kidney Wales who have campaigned on soft opt out for over three years said: