Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Health and Social Services
The draft Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill and its accompanying draft Explanatory Memorandum were published on 18 June 2012 for a 12 week consultation, which ended on 10 September 2012.
Today, I am publishing a summary of the responses and I attach a copy of the report for Members’ information. The report will be published in the Welsh Government consultation pages later today.
We received an excellent response to the consultation, with 2,891 replies received before the deadline. The vast majority of the responses (2,601) were in the form of a standard letter which raised a number of specific issues. A smaller number of responses gave detailed and considered comments to the questions. We are grateful to all respondents for their contributions.
The draft Bill takes forward a manifesto commitment to introduce legislation of a soft opt-out system for organ and tissue donation. A soft opt-out system means unless a person has opted out of being a donor, they would be deemed to have no objection to their organs being considered for donation if they died in circumstances in which donation was a possibility. In a soft opt-out system, the deceased’s family is still involved in the decision- making process around donation. Evidence suggests changing to this system could increase organ donation by up to 25 per cent.
The consultation on the draft Bill posed questions about whether there was sufficient clarity in relation to the following areas:
• concepts of deemed and express consent
• role of families
• registration of wishes
• establishment of residency status
• Equality Impact Assessment
• communications and awareness
The summary report sets out the main themes contained in the responses in relation to these and other issues. The consultation responses will inform the development of the final Bill.
As well as the specific views of those who responded to our consultations, I am keen to listen to a wider range of peoples’ views on the subject, to inform and underpin our commitment to good communication. I am, therefore, also publishing today the results of a representative survey about the attitudes of people in Wales to organ donation and to the proposed change in the law and again, I attach a copy of the report for Members’ attention. The survey report will be published on the website later today at
The survey suggests almost half of the Welsh public (49 per cent) supports a change, with less than a quarter (22 per cent) against. A further 21 per cent stated they needed more information to decide. This proportion is in line with the BBC St David’s Day Poll which also showed 2:1 in favour of a change compared to those against. There is also a relatively high level of awareness of a proposed change to the law in Wales.
We all know organ donation saves and improves lives. I look forward to introducing the Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill to the Assembly before the end of the year.