Shame on the BMA Wales

The Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill is a deeply flawed piece of legislation and it is shameful of the BMA in Wales to have lobbied for it. It adds further shame for doctors on BMA Wales committees who formerly opposed presumed consent to have ceased to speak out. It makes one ask: cui bono?


The BMA Wales have produced a policy and then selected evidence to support that policy so evidence does not inform policy. Again one asks: cui bono?


Key evidence is widely available:


a) Deemed/presumed/inferred consent achieves a low ethical standard and it is a fictitious consent. It is culturally wrong for Wales – a country with a strong history of respect for autonomy.


b) The relatively high organ donation rates through informed consent in Wales will be at risk when the Bill is enacted.


c) Spain does not operate a presumed consent system and this fact has been stated by Dr Rafael Matesanz, Director of the Spanish National Transplant Organization (Organización Nacional de Trasplantes, ONT) in the British Medical Journal (2010), The Guardian (2008), et alia.


d) There is a not a shortage of organs in Wales or elsewhere in the United Kingdom; there are systemic problems linking voluntary donations of organs with recipients. Evidence sources include the Academy of Royal Colleges Wales, Welsh Intensive Care Society and the UK Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine.

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About Iain Robbe

I am a medical practitioner (MB, BS, 1980; MRCS, LRCP, 1980) registered with the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic I have reactivated my licence to practise and I am providing telephone support to vulnerable elderly to assist them during the pandemic. I remain active as a Clinical Medical Educationist participating in a number of projects with the universities of St Mary’s and Dalhousie in Nova Scotia and Mount Allison in New Brunswick, inter alia, and separately with three of the veterinary schools in the UK. My focus is on teaching and research in professionalism, ethics, and communications, and particularly the influences of vernacular architecture on the creation of positive learning experiences in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. I have the degree of Master in Public Health from the University of London (1985) and the degree of Master in Medical Education with distinction from the University of Wales (2001). The guiding principles in my practices are based on andragogy and humanism, and the prime ethical principle of autonomy for the individual and in population health.

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