From Monday The Welsh Governments controversial plans for presumed consent of organ donation will be enacted, this means that if you have set out no provision your organs can be harvested for use after your death, thus giving countless people a new lease on life and it wont really effect you because you’ll be dead.
Some detractors have suggested that the Welsh Government’s laying claim to the organs of the deceased is just another example of the political zombies that seem to have been elected, while others have suggested that retirement homes will be little more than breeding farms or waiting rooms for those waiting for organs. But in spite of this rhetoric the Welsh Government is not actually laying claim to anything, they are just tweaking the system slightly, instead of having to opt in to be an organ donor when you die, you now have to opt out if you don’t want to be, how simple is that?
The main reasoning behind this push of presumed consent is that currently only 1% of the Welsh Population (approximately 30,000 people) managed to donate organs after their death due to the circumstances of their death (which is a lot) but the UK still has a massive shortfall of healthy organs. Under the current system though Wales comes out rather well in terms of organ donations when compared with other countries .
One of the worst countries in the world for organ donation in the developed world in New Zealand, my uncle who emigrated to New Zealand in the 90’s is currently a campaigner for organ donation (check out his site here). Now the population of New Zealand is roughly 4.5 million (based on 2012 data) and in 2012 there were only 38 posthumous donors in the entire country, this is less than 0.001% of the population, and as of 2012 there are over 500 people on organ transplant lists within the country. The number of donors in New Zealand is actually registered at roughly 48% of the population, but the decision can be overruled by families and an organs viability is 10-12 hours after death (at best) as well as this the only time to become an organ donor in New Zealand is when you get a drivers license. I couldn’t imagine such a system in Wales, the majority of people I know use public transport and those that do drive have done so since 17 and its hard to see them ticking that box in the fervent excitement of now being independently mobile.
so you can see the benefits of an opt out system and if you can’t just remember that you can always opt out (if for whatever reason you feel like you don’t want to save your fellow human beings you can always opt out here), and if you forget don’t worry too much as if your family know your wishes they can still refuse to give up your organs. But as far as I’m concerned I’ve been a registered donor since I was 19, and whilst I doubt any of it will by the time I’m finished with it, if it works you are welcome to it and the best of luck to you.