Patients' Group Attacks Presumed-Consent Plan; 'STATE ACQUISITION WOULD REPLACE ORGAN DONATION'

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), December 12, 2011 | Go to article overview

Patients' Group Attacks Presumed-Consent Plan; 'STATE ACQUISITION WOULD REPLACE ORGAN DONATION'


Byline: DAVID WILLIAMSON

WELSH Government plans to introduce "presumed consent" for organ donations were today condemned by Patient Concern as a system of "state acquisition".

The group claimed the proposals would turn patients into "conscripts or conscientious objectors" in a "tragic" move. The uncompromising attack on the Welsh Government's plans for a system under which people would be assumed to consent to having their organs donated unless they "opt-out" comes on the same day that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) publishes new guidelines.

It recommends organ donation should be considered a "usual part of end-of-life care planning, and that each hospital should have a policy and protocol" for identifying potential donors and managing the consent process.

"It also states that "in all cases those close to the patient should be approached in a professional, compassionate and caring manner and be given sufficient time to consider the information they have been offered."

Roger Goss of Patient Concern, said: "Nice's guidance reflects the core principle of organ donation - a truly altruistic gift based on fully informed consent.

It is tragic that Welsh Assembly proposed legalisation, if enacted, would destroy 'donation', replacing it with state requisition.

"The Welsh would automatically be treated as willing donors unless they, or their family, could prove otherwise. Everyone would be turned into conscripts or conscientious objectors.

"England would be the next target, regardless of our horrible history of organs being taken by the tens of thousands without permission. It was this scandal that resulted in our Human Tissue Act which ensures that donation always reflects a willing informed choice.

"The Welsh Assembly needs to reconsider whether legalising presumed consent to organ donation is desirable, let alone is ethical."

Mr Goss's words echo controversial comments made by Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan who, in September, said plans to introduce presumed consent to the organ donation law would turn "volunteers into conscripts".

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Patients' Group Attacks Presumed-Consent Plan; 'STATE ACQUISITION WOULD REPLACE ORGAN DONATION'
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