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New survey of organ donation legislation shows awareness and understanding is increasing overall in Wales
The new organ donation law will come into force in Wales in less than two years’ time on 1 December 2015. From that date onwards, Welsh residents will have three choices to make on organ donation. Anybody who would like to be a donor can either register a decision to opt in on the NHS Organ Donor Register, or do nothing at all, in which case consent will be deemed. Anybody not wanting to be a donor will also be able to record an opt out decision on the Register closer to the time.
The public attitudes survey, which took place just before the launch of the Welsh Government’s organ donation legislation public awareness campaign It’s About Time at the end of 2013, asked residents in Wales if they were aware of any changes that will be taking place to the current organ donation system. The proportion of respondents aware of the changes increased by 2% in just five months from 57% in June 2013 to 59% in November 2013.
And, while the number of respondents who said they will opt in or take no action under the new legislation stayed the same, the proportion of people who said they would opt out decreased by 5% from 20% in June 2013 to 15% in November 2013.
There was a small percentage decrease in the proportion of people who said they were in favour of the change in legislation, from 61% in June 2013 to 57% in November 2013. Despite this small decrease, support remained considerably higher than the 16% of respondents who were against the change.
Health Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“It’s fantastic to see that awareness of the new system is growing across Wales as a whole. There is still work to be done, and now that we have our new public awareness campaign up and running, we hope to see these figures continuing to increase further.
“Organ donation saves lives, and with such a high number of people’s lives ‘on a clock’ waiting for an organ donor, we hope this change to the organ donation law in Wales will help people on the donor waiting list by increasing the number of organs available for transplant.
“The new legislation is coming into effect on 1 December 2015, and it’s our job to ensure members of the public are fully informed on what the changes will mean and the choices they can make.
“We will continue to gather regular information on public awareness and understanding of organ donation law to help inform our public awareness campaign.”