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The Human Transplantation (Wales) bill became law on Tuesday 10th September 2013 following Royal Assent.
This law aims to increase the number of people in Wales who donate their organs after death.
The law itself will be fully implemented on 1 December 2015. Before then, the Welsh Government will run a major two year information campaign to ensure everyone is fully informed on what the changes will mean and the choices they can make.
The new legislation will give Welsh residents the opportunity to express an intention to be an organ donor and, for the first time, make it possible to record a refusal to donate. They will also be able to record the name of an 'appointed representative' to make the decision on their behalf. Any qualifying Welsh resident who does not record their intentions will be deemed to have consented to donation. Families will be given the opportunity to let hospital clinicians and specialist nurses for organ donation know about any firm intentions that had not been recorded before their relative's death.
Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant said:
"We welcome the Welsh Government's commitment to increasing the number of deceased organ donors and saving more lives through transplantation.
"Over the next two years, before the new law is fully implemented, people in Wales will hear the options available to them and about the importance of donation through a major information campaign. We hope this spotlight on donation and how transplants save lives will convince each and every person that they should proudly make a decision to donate.
"With three people dying every day across the UK in need of a transplant, and with more than four out of ten families currently refusing donation when approached, we ask everybody who supports donation wherever they live in the UK to join the NHS Organ Donor Register now and to tell those closest to them their decision to donate.
"In the UK, although more than half a million people die every year, fewer than 5,000 die in circumstances where they can become organ donors - so every potential donor is incredibly precious. If you want to save or transform up to nine lives, register your decision to do so now at: www.organdonation.nhs.uk or by calling 0300 123 23 23."
As the UK Organ Donation organisation, NHSBT is working closely with the Welsh Government to implement the new legislation successfully. NHSBT will also continue to promote the need for more people to give consent for donation by joining the ODR and by talking to their families about their decision.
For more information about the legislation, visit: http://wales.gov.uk/organdonation
For additional information please contact Andrea Ttofa by calling 01923 367 634 or the NHSBT Press Office on 01923 367600
For out of hours enquiries please call: 0117 969 2444
Notes to editors
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs.