Earlier this year I asked Prime Minister David Cameron if he would bring opt-out organ donation to England.
He said he’d consider it, and wrote to me to confirm, but said there was not sufficient evidence that the policy is effective.
The opt-out (or ‘presumed consent’) system has been in place in Wales since December 2015 following a groundbreaking act passed by the Welsh Labour Government. An opt-out system means that everyone is assumed to give their consent to donate organs, unless they explicitly say they are not.
The six-month statistics on the effectiveness of this policy have just been released, and they confirm that this legislation has increased the number of people receiving life saving organ transplant surgery.
Of the 60 organs transplanted in Wales from December 2015 – June 2016, over half came from people whose consent had been deemed thanks to the new legislation.
Before this legislation, 23 people donated their organs in the same period in 2014-15, and 21 in 2013-14. This large increase shows that presumed consent really does save lives here in Wales.
I am committed to continuing to campaign for the same in England and across the UK.