Last chance to protect your body from the Welsh Assembly Government.
The Welsh Assembly Government have introduced the Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill 2013 that, if enacted, will enable your organs and any other relevant material to be removed from your body after death without your consent. The Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee have to inquire into the Bill’s opt out principles before it is debated. The period until January 18th is the last realistic time to lobby the Committee and Constituency and Regional Assembly members (http://www.assemblywales.org/memhome.htm) to vote against the Bill.
There are two principal reasons why the Bill is wrong. It is wrong because it is unethical in failing to respect an individual’s right to autonomy over their body.
Deemed consent is a fictitious phrase that ignores international conventions around valid consent. Families described in the Bill as “people in a qualifying relationship” will have no rights to veto donation which is a core issue in an opt out system.
It is wrong because donation rates are increasing in Wales and in the rest of the United Kingdom through people voluntarily giving informed consent. The use of deemed consent is highly likely to provoke anxiety and fear amongst individuals and their families leading to a reduction in donation rates. Hospital staff under pressure from management will face psychological trauma through taking brain stem deceased patients for organ removal surgery without the support of the patients’ families.
If the Bill is passed into an Act then Welsh residents should fear admission to hospital.