Welsh 2013 deemed consent legislation falls short of expectations

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Abstract

Wales, in 2013, was the first country in the United Kingdom to pass legislation introducing presumed (or deemed) consent for organ donation, and remains the only one. It was introduced in an attempt to increase the number of life-saving transplants taking place in the UK, in a move that policy makers hoped would mirror Spain’s success. More recently, pressure has been mounting for England to follow suit, with a public consultation currently in progress. However, the Welsh system has been far from a success, raising the question of why campaigners are so adamant that it should be replicated. Before the Welsh Government introduced the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act there had been no strong evidence to suggest it would make a difference, with countries boasting both high organ donation rates and presumed consent legislation demonstrating no clear causal relationship between the two facts. In addition, a recent report evaluating the Act has highlighted its failure to improve donation rates, and has even presented some potentially concerning statistics that may suggest a negative impact. This paper first considers presumed consent in other countries – Spain and Brazil – before illustrating the underwhelming progression of Wales’ new system and the need to look to other options.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-944
Number of pages4
JournalHealth Policy
Volume122
Issue number9
Early online date31 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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