Posted: Tue 2nd Feb 2016

Three quarters of people in Wales are aware of organ donation changes – less than half have discussed it with family

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016

Figures released on Monday show that while most people know about changes to organ donation, more people need to discuss their wishes with their loved ones.
74 per cent of people are now aware of the changes to the organ donation system in Wales, compared to 69 per cent of people when the last set of figures were released in December.

The number of people who had discussed their organ donation decisions with their family has also risen slightly to 47 per cent.
Previously released figures show understanding of the new opt-out system in Wales is also high, with eight out of 10 people who are aware being able to describe the changes.

The release of the new data coincides with the launch of the next phase of the Organ Donation Wales public information campaign, ‘It’s Time to Talk’, which encourages people to make time to talk about their organ donation choices.

Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant and Connah’s Quay middleweight boxing champion Tom Doran teamed up in November to call for people to talk to their families about their wishes.

Carl Sargeant today renewed his appeal:

“I’m proud that the Welsh Government brought these changes in and it’s wonderful to see so many people know about them and understand them.

“Last year 14 people died while waiting for a transplant and I believe these changes will cut that figure in future. But I’m concerned that fewer than half the people in Wales have discussed their feelings on organ donation with each other.

“It’s very rare that people die in circumstances where they can become a donor, so it may be the unlikelihood of the scenario coupled with the sensitive nature of the conversation is putting people off. But it’s vital that that awkward chat takes place because to deal with a loved one’s sudden death then discover they want to be a donor all within minutes is a lot to take in. Families are more likely to support donation if they are aware of their loved ones organ donation decision.”

Wales became the first part of the UK to change the organ donation system in December when it introduced a soft opt-out system. People aged 18 and over who have lived in Wales for more than 12 months and who die in Wales will now be regarded as having consented to organ donation unless they have opted opt. This is called deemed consent.

People who want to be an organ donor can register a decision to opt in or do nothing, which will mean they have no objection to being an organ donor. Those people who do not want to be organ donor can opt out at any time.

The change to the organ donation system, which came into force on December 1, 2015 could lead to a 25 per cent increase in the number of organ donors.

The new advertising campaign, which will be available online and broadcast across television and radio stations, encourages Welsh residents to talk to their loved ones about their organ donation decision so their families are clear about their decision. In the past many families have refused to consent to organ donation if they do not know what their loved one wanted.



Picture: Carl Sargeant AM and Tom Doran.

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