Roy J Thomas, Chairman of Kidney Wales Foundation said:

“We welcome the legislative priorities set out by the First Minister Carwyn Jones this afternoon on the Organ Donation Bill to provide for a Soft Opt Out system of organ donation. We are aware that this has cross party support.”

He added, “The Welsh public has shown their backing for organ donation and a change in legislation. We will continue to reflect the views of the majority of the Welsh public and patients waiting for life saving transplants.”

“We are clear, havening received Leading Counsel advice, that the Assembly has full powers to legislate in this context and are delighted that the First Minister confirmed the competence to do so.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact Tristan Williams on 029 2034 3940

NOTES

Kidney Wales Foundation has been campaigning for over four years for a system of Soft Opt Out to be implemented in Wales.

Under the Kidney Wales favoured 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.
Wales would wish to follow the example of Belgium where the “soft” opt-out system was introduced in 1986. Just 2% of the population has opted out of organ donation – and the national rate of organ donation rose by 55% within five years.

The latest figures show that in Belgium there were 291 deceased organ donors in 2007 compared to only 51 in Wales – Belgium has one of the highest rates of donors per million people in the world. Roy J Thomas, Chairman of Kidney Wales Foundation said: