Target: Welsh Health Minister Lesley Griffiths
Goal: Increase organ donation rates in Wales by treating all individuals as donors unless they have opted out.
By 2015, Wales could have a ‘presumed consent’ organ donation law which would state that, upon a person’s death, every individual be treated as a willing organ donor unless he or she previously stated otherwise or chose to opt-out during his or her lifetime. This law could theoretically increase organ donation by 25 percent, a necessary and important increase as the transplant waiting list for Wales in 2011 had over 300 people awaiting transplant while only 67 people donated their organs. Sign this petition and show your support for this law which could help to save hundreds of lives and, if successful, become a precedent for other countries.
There is concern about this law from religious groups who feel as if it would contradict some religious traditions and cause some problems around the definition of brain death. Additionally, there are those who fear too much government interference and overreach into personal affairs, believing that organ donation should remain a benevolent gift rather than an assumed duty of the deceased. However, due to the large number of people on the organ transplant list and the number of people who died waiting for transplants in the last year, Health Minister Lesley Griffiths believes this bill to be prudent.
Currently, and with the new law, even if an individual is on the registry, they must die in the hospital in order to be eligible for donation. Also, individuals over 18 must have lived in Wales for longer than six months before becoming viable donors, allowing people enough time to learn about the law and opt out should they chose to. While it is true that there is no hard evidence that presumed consent will increase organ donation, because physicians and nurses will continue to work with families to honor their wishes, the possibility for success is an important driving factor in this law. Health Minister Griffiths states that on average, one person dies every week waiting for a transplant because a suitable organ donor cannot be found. Sign this petition and support the presumed consent law in Wales which will work to save lives.
Dear Health Minister Lesley Griffiths,
The presumed consent law for organ donation is a vital and powerful tool that can be used to save lives. The law allows for individuals to opt-out during their lifetime and allows for physicians to work with families who have religious concerns for the deceased. This law could work to increase organ donation by 25 percent, an important increase as an average of one person a week dies while waiting for an organ transplant because a suitable donor cannot be found.
We support the presumed consent organ donation bill and hope that it passes so that it can be an asset in saving the lives of individuals who otherwise would have died waiting for their organ transplants. If this law is successful it could become an important precedent for other nations, and even if this bill does not successfully increase organ donation by 25 percent, it is a commendable attempt to do so. Thank you for introducing this bill and for taking important strides toward making organ donation an important issue in the media.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Magnus D via Flickr