“The UK needs to change its law on organ donation as it is not likely to achieve the UK Organ Donor Taskforce target to increase organ donor rates by 50% by 2013” says Kidney Wales Foundation.

In a statement to the Media, The National Kidney Federation has confirmed that the UK would not reach the 50% target.

Kidney Wales Foundation today supported the stance of the National Kidney Federation who stated too many people were dying because of a poor strategy in efforts to boost rates of donation when people die.

The UK Organ Donor Taskforce set a target to increase organ donor rates by 50% by 2013.

The NKF said that the Department of Health in Whitehall has stated that the target will be met but the NKF are absolutely certain it will not be.

Roy J Thomas of Kidney Wales Foundation said:

“England is currently at about 27%, which has been achieved over the last four years, with only one year of the target left to go. The message from those who oppose Opt Out legislation such as Westminster MPs and London Professors is that we must get more people to sign the organ donor register or that education is needed. They stand still in the dark ages and do not see progressive change or have the vision needed to change culture. Education programmes on organ donation have been happening in the UK for decades and still three people die every day waiting in the UK and one person dies a week in Wales.”

“With an Opt Out system there would be more organs available. More importantly, there would be a change in culture. We need more organ donors as there are currently only 33% of the population on the register whereas over 90% would give.”

Mr Thomas added: “In the UK, 400 of the 18 million people signed up to the organ donor register die every day. Only 2 go on become organ donors. Simply not enough.”

Roy J Thomas said: “Opt out is a change of emphasis; it is about giving; it is a change in culture. Transplanting more organs would save lives and save the Health Service in the UK a fortune compared to the cost of dialysis.”

The change in legislation is supported by leading Welsh charities.

Dai Williams, Director, Diabetes UK Cymru said:

“One complication of diabetes can be kidney failure, and pancreas transplants for people with diabetes are becoming increasing common. We support a change to Opt Out and welcome any move than increases the number of organs available for donation in Wales.”

Chris Mulholland, Head of BLF Wales, said:

“Lung disease is a growing problem in Wales, as the recent figures on hospital admissions show. Some patients with lung disease could benefit from a transplant. Increasing the number of organs available could make a big difference, which is why we welcome the proposed opt-out system.”
Martyn Hutchings, Chairman, Welsh Kidney Patients Association said:

“The WKPA supports the new soft opt out law safe in the knowledge that there will be ample opportunity for people to opt out and loved ones will continue to be consulted about donation. Over the years our members have trusted NHS staff to advise and oversee their treatment and to act ethically and within the guidelines for organ donation. There is no reason to believe they will not continue to act responsibly and sensibly in implementing this change in procedure here in Wales, to ensure donated organs are not seen as “assets of the state.” Our Association supports the soft opt out law because we are confident it will improve matters for everyone across the UK.”