An opt out system to be introduced in the entire width of the UK is a goal which will enable more people to receive a transplant is something we should all consider to campaign for a lot harder. Kay from ohkay-dohkay is writing today about the opt-out system being introduced in Wales by the end of this year and why it's such a positive and wonderful thing that needs to available throughout the UK. 

Hello Everyone, 

My name is Kay from and firstly I want to thank Emmie for letting me contribute to the week of posts for National Transplant Week and I really hope it's getting you thinking about organ donation. It’s so important and one that is really close to my heart. I’m coming at this subject from an entirely different perspective because I live in Wales and as some of you might or might not know we are currently changing how our organ donation system works. 

The Welsh Labour Government- which sits in the Senedd or Welsh Assembly in Cardiff Bay- has decided to lead the way by establishing a new “opt out system”. When the policy actually comes in to affect on the 1st December, Wales will have been the first country in the UK to adopt the radical change and it is likely to have a hugely positive impact. 

So what does this change mean? Currently in the United Kingdom you have to sign up to the organ donation register and physically declare that you wish to donate your organs, but in Wales after the 1st December 2015 that is going to be completely reversed. In order to ensure that your organs are not donated individuals will have to “opt out” using the various platforms available. In a situation where you have offered no decision it will be deemed that you have given your consent for your organs to be saved. 

During 2012-13 thirty-six people died while awaiting an organ transplant and yet despite the desperate need for organs less than 1% of Welsh people donated their organs. This was for numerous reasons including people’s lack of understanding on how to join the register and also a lack of dialogue with loved one’s around the subject. This meant that many people were unsure what their loved one’s would have wanted and therefore declined to donate their organs. It’s hoped that the new measure will lead to a dramatic increase in the number of organs available as people the majority of people are expected to refuse the opt out option.

Prior the policy being enforced, the Welsh Government have been running a massive advertising campaign in order to raise awareness of the forthcoming change. There's one of them below for you to have a look at. It’s also hoped that these adverts and the new system will result in conversations around the issue meaning that families are aware of the the other one’s choices. 

The decision to introduce the legislation has led to a huge debate over the subject nationally and Scotland have also considered the measure. It is expected that the other government’s will be looking to Wales in order to see how the new changes play out and what impact the law will have. During the lead up to the law’s passing, there was much debate about the morality of the issue and it seems to be the main argument against the policy. However the move has been largely accepted across Wales and the previous mentioned awareness campaign has been effective in educating about the change. 

For me personally the legislation is change is a no brainer because most people seem to have no objection to their organs being used. Yet if you do it’s easy enough to chose to opt out. I’m excited to see how the measure plays out and intrigued to see how many people do take the “opt out” option. I’m proud that the Welsh Government is leading the way on this among many other subjects and I’m elated that we have such a progressive Assembly that is prepared to make tough decisions to better the lives of it’s citizens. 

Thirty-six lives is thirty-six too many.

thanks to Kay for this great feature, it's great to show you how other places near the UK reflect on organ donation, do you think we should enforce a opt-out system too?
remember to let me know if you've signed up to the register or encouraged others to through this feature through my blog! 

remember to sign up to be a organ donor you can go online and it'll take you 2 Minutes to complete.

thanks for reading,