Plans to change the law in Wales on organ donation could still go ahead, despite news that the number of organs donated by Welsh citizens is on the rise, reports the BBC.
The National Assembly of Wales has published a draft bill which could see Wales operating the first 'opt out' system on organ donation in the UK. Under the proposals all citizens would automatically be eligible for organ donation upon their death, unless they instructed doctors or relatives to the contrary. The system could be in place by 2015.
The system is set to change the current 'opt-in' system operated across the UK whereby individuals must sign up to have their organs stored for transplants after their death. Citizens in the UK sign up either on their drivers' licence or by carrying a donor card.
The ironic thing is that statistics from NHS Blood and Transplant show that the number of people waiting for an organ in Wales has in fact fallen, from 309 in 2010/11 to 284 in 2011/12.
Despite the fall, supporters of the legislation claim it is still necessary. Dr Chris Jones is a medical director of NHS Wales:
"The number of people in Wales dying while waiting for a transplant is still too high and we must continue to do all we can to increase the number of organ donors," he told the BBC.
"The consent rate for organ donation in Wales, although better than the UK average, is still too low and we know a large part of that is down to people not discussing their wishes with their families," he added.
Opponents of the legislation claim that the evidence that an opt-out system works to increase donation numbers is questionable, and point to other countries in Europe who have lower donation rates despite the policy.
A Church spokeswoman said:
"We think the most effective way to increase the supply of organs further is by investing in wide-reaching public awareness campaigns, by making it easier for people to make the decision and by improving the organisation and infrastructure of the transplantation service."