Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Join the Donate Wales Campaign.

Holding firm opinions has its drawbacks, especially for a parliamentary candidate. Over the last few days, I've been reminded that holding the opinion that the ban on hunting with dogs should be repealed will lose me votes. But its on health related issues that it bites hardest - and on no issue harder than the decision by Edwina Hart to legislate to introduce 'presumed consent' for organ donation in Wales. I just do not believe it is right that body parts should be removed without the considered consent of the deceased. At least I'm not alone in this view. My difficulties with this opinion flow from involvement with a campaign for a renal dialysis unit to be provided in Montgomeryshire. I suspect that many, if not most, of those I work with support 'presumed consent'. The Wales health establishment, led by Health Minister Edwina Hart, and including the good people at Kidney Wales Foundation certainly do.

All the above leads to a search for some form of personal compensatory action. Which brings me to this week's launch of New Year campaign by Donate Wales to persuade more people to opt-in to carrying a donor card. Now this is a campaign that I really do believe in. So why not just telephone 0300 123 23 23 or visit the Donate Wales website, and make me feel better about my opinion. I hope the new rules which apply to what a parliamentary candidate can do from 1st January don't prevent me running an event to promote this campaign.


Roy J Thomas said...

Dear Glyn,

Across the UK, three people die a day waiting for a transplant.The current system does not work. It’s a brutal reality that there simply are not enough organs to give life to those waiting. Despite seven in 10 people in Wales wanting to be on the register, just 810,000 people are on it.

Similar gaps exist in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

The Assembly Cabinet and not only the Minister Edwina Hart took these steps and I know from discussions with Mr Nick Bourne that this change has cross party support including members of the Conservative Party and many agree with the proposals and I believe Mr Cameron can be persuaded.

Wales is to become the first place in the UK to move from a system of opt-in to opt-out organ donation. The system the Cabinet announced, is one of “soft opt-out”, means that people are presumed to want to be organ donors unless either they have joined a opt-out register, they cannot be identified, their wishes can be proven to have changed or immediate relatives object. These exemptions are crucial; they mean that only those who want to donate do so.

This system is commonplace in other European countries. When Belgium introduced the opt-out system in 1986 its national rate of organ donation rose by 55% within five years. Belgians can take themselves off the register but only 2% have. In Spain, where a similar system exists, there are 35 donors per million compared with just 13 in Wales and 14.9 in the UK as a whole.I disagree with your views on Spain.We have more research on Europe than undrtaken by your Health Committee last Year. Your Report failed to take on board several important pieces of evidence.

Spain didn’t just achieve this by switching to a soft opt-out system. It built its infrastructure to ensure that loved ones were asked and organs co-ordinated so that they could be used to save someone else’s life. The Organ Donor Implementation Taskforce and the NHS are responsible for making sure our infrastructure works sensitively and appropriately. The Cabinet has thrown down the gauntlet to them to deliver – patients deserve no less.I hope you agree.

There are people who have their concerns about a move to this system. There is the peculiarly British awkwardness around death. Some people fear, incorrectly, that doctors would fight less hard to save them if they knew their organs could go to someone else. There is no evidence of this, but the government has recently given clarification to doctors to further allay any fears. People visiting Wales from other parts of the UK will be treated exactly as British people are currently when they visit countries such as Spain. That is, their organs would not be taken without the knowledge that they wanted to donate them and the support of a loved one. While some people do have these reservations, from our recent survey Welsh people support a move to soft opt-out two to one.

American experts predict soft opt-out will increase the number of organs available by 16% – it will save lives. The Welsh could go it alone with this switch, or will the rest of the UK be joining them? Will you as a caring Conservative do so?

I hope we can continue our discussion on this important piece of legislative change.

I look forward to your support of the latest Donate Wales Campaign at as you have done in the past.Thank you for support for kidney patients in Wales and campaigns in Welshpool which we support.

I have always respected your views and continue to wish to debate this issue with you on the important subject but we cannot allow a broken UK system to continue.

Your sincerely,


Roy J Thomas
Kidney Wales Foundation

Egg Donors said...

Great Post.....

I found your site on stumbleupon and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

Thanks for sharing....