With the aim of addressing the shortage of donors in Europe, a national law establishing the principle of “presumed consent” for organ donation came into effect in Wales today. People who have attained majority and have been living for at least a year in the country will now automatically be considered for donation after their death unless they opt out of the scheme.
Wales will join the group of EU Member States that have also put in place opt-out systems in their respective countries, such as Belgium, Croatia or Spain.
The new law was initiated in light of the long waiting list for organ donations that faces the British healthcare system and is expected to increase to up to a quarter the number of available organs.
Although organ donations are gradually rising across Europe, the lack of available organs remains a challenge for the European Union, estimated to have caused the death of 4,100 patients registered on waiting lists in 2013. For more information.