01/Sep/2014 - Last News Update: 08:02

Kidney Wales Foundation launches donor campaign

Category: Wales

Published: 10th May 2010 13:30:47

A campaign asking people across the UK to back an opt-out organ donation system has been launched by a Welsh charity.

The assembly government announced plans last year for Welsh residents to be presumed organ donors unless they or their relatives object.

Now the Kidney Wales Foundation is calling for the rest of the UK to follow the proposals.

The move is aimed at boosting organs available for transplants.

The so-called "soft opt-out" system is similar to that already used in Belgium and Portugal, where organ donation rates are far higher than in the UK.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has backed Wales' proposed opt-out system during the assembly government's consultation on the plan.

It said an estimated 30 people died waiting for organ transplants in Wales in a year.

Helena Jones, 77, of Glynneath in Neath Port Talbot, strongly supports the foundation's campaign for an opt-out system after four of her five children underwent kidney transplants.

She said it was important the rest of the UK followed Wales.

"I think it's brilliant but is it going to work if the whole of the country doesn't join?" she said.

"None of my children have had their transplants in Wales. I would like to see the whole of the UK do it.

"Maybe if Wales goes first, the rest of the UK will follow."

Her daughter Helen's new kidney actually came from Barcelona in Spain, she added.

She said she was hugely grateful to the people who were willing to donate their organs and give her children a new lease of life.

"What I would say to people is that although it's very, very hard, people die every day," she said.

"If you could see my children now and how grateful I am getting my children back their lives, it's brilliant.

"People who say 'yes' to organ donations - they're my heroes."

However, there has been some opposition to the opt-out system being introduced in Wales.

Jonathan Morgan AM, a former chair of the assembly health committee, has said it was preferable for people to opt in rather than for the government to "presume you have no objection because you have not made any utterance about it".

"I don't think it is acceptable for the government to make a presumption about what your beliefs and views are," he said.

Roy J. Thomas, chairman of Kidney Wales, said "the time has come" for a change in attitudes to organ donation.

"Despite decades of campaigning, only 28% of people have joined the organ donor register in the UK - yet study after study shows that most people would wish to donate their organs," he said.

"The reality is that people in the UK are dying at a rate of three per day. This switch will save lives.

"Wales has moved first, now we thrown down the gauntlet to the rest of the UK to follow suit."

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2010. Kidney Wales Foundation launches donor campaign [Online] (Updated 10th May 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/58347/Kidney-Wales-Foundation-launches-donor-campaign [Accessed 1st Sep 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Tonnes of rubbish alight at Wareham landfill

    More than 30 firefighters are tackling a blaze at a landfill site in Dorset.
  • Ukraine crisis: Russia urges Ukraine ceasefire talks

    An "immediate ceasefire" in Ukraine must be the priority for key negotiations taking place on Monday, Russia's foreign minister has said.
  • Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood recording revisited

    Under Milk Wood is an acknowledged radio classic. Dylan Thomas's dramatic masterpiece was first broadcast in January 1954 and almost nobody involved is left alive. But to mark the poet's centenary the original sound effects man has been persuaded to return to rattle the teacups one last time.
  • Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood recording revisited

    Under Milk Wood is an acknowledged radio classic. Dylan Thomas's dramatic masterpiece was first broadcast in January 1954 and almost nobody involved is left alive. But to mark the poet's centenary the original sound effects man has been persuaded to return to rattle the teacups one last time.
  • Skin cancer cases double in 30 years but survival rates also rise

    Skin cancer cases have increased two-and-a-half fold over the last 30 years but survival rates have also soared, according to researchers from Glasgow.