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New laws on organ donation to be debated in House of Lords

Proposals to change the law on organ donation in Wales are to be debated in the House of Lords.

Proposals to change the law on organ donation in Wales are to be debated in the House of Lords.

Proposals to change the law on organ donation in Wales are to be debated in the House of Lords.

Lord Dafydd Wigley said he plans to raise the issue in the UK Parliament’s second chamber – and is calling on Westminster to clarify its attitude on the matter.

The announcement comes following the Welsh Assembly Government’s recent attempts to move from a system of requiring consent, to adopting an “opt out” approach – where people would need to say they did not want to be donors.

Lord Wigley, who was granted a peerage by the Queen last year, spoke in favour of the plans and wants to know what representations the UK Government has received from their colleagues in The Senedd in Cardiff.

He said: “I’m glad that the first oral question that I have succeeded in securing is on this vital issue.

“The difficult fact of the matter is that delays cost lives. Someone in Wales dies every 11 days waiting for an organ transplant.

“There is overwhelming support for a change to the existing system throughout Wales.

“The proposed changes to the law would mean that anyone who does not wish to be an organ donor has the right to make that choice and opt out.

“It is of course an issue which is central to the powers of the assembly, which needs to be allowed to make laws in Wales without the consent of both Houses in Westminster.”

Earlier this year, Welsh Assembly health minister Edwina Hart submitted a request for the assembly to have powers – called a Legislative Competence Order – over organ donation.

Supporters of the scheme say it would help make more organs available for patients who need transplants.

Campaign group Donate Wales said there were more than 490 people in Wales who were awaiting a transplant. And it said while seven in 10 would like to be on the donor register, less than three in 10 were.

Lord Wigley’s question is scheduled to be answered in the Lords on March 23.

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