LONDON – Wales will become the first country in the United Kingdom to adopt an organ and tissue donation program based on presumed consent after assembly members voted in favor of a bill Tuesday.
The opt-in system currently in place across the U.K. relies on people signing up to a voluntary program and carrying a donor card. But the Welsh government wants to introduce a system in which individuals will be presumed to have consented after death unless they specifically object during their lifetime.
Members of the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff voted 43-8 in favor of the plan, which is on course to come into force by 2015.
The Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill aims to increase the number of organs and tissues available for transplant by introducing the “soft opt-out” system. Donation rates could increase by between 25 and 30 percent under such a system, the government says.