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Communication is key if organ bill is to progress

I welcome the publication of the Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill, but of course there is still a long way to go. The fact that the consultations undertaken by the Welsh Government received nearly 3,000 responses just goes to show how strong feelings are on this issue.

A switch to presumed consent will mean there are more organs available for people waiting for a transplant. Wales has an opportunity to lead the way in the UK to ensure that people who are on the waiting list for organs do not die unnecessarily, but this emotive issue must be conducted carefully by the Welsh Government who must communicate with the people of Wales throughout the process.

The Welsh Government has stated that it is to run a campaign in order to encourage families to talk about organ donation. This, I believe, is essential. Communication will be key if this Bill is going to make progress through the Senedd.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are supportive of an organ donation opt-out scheme and its potential to save thousands of lives, but we need to ensure that people in Wales know exactly what this system will actually entail and how it will affect everybody in Wales. Before agreeing to support this bill, we will be seeking assurances from the Minister to address concerns we have and to see how the proposed system will actually work in practice.

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