Organs can be taken from dead without any consent
ORGANS will be transplanted from the dead without consent in Britain for the first time from today.
A landmark law change in Wales gives doctors the right to assume that all adults consent to be organ donors after their death.
It means that over-18s have to opt out from the register if they do not want to be donors – so far only 8 per cent have. Otherwise they will be treated as if they had given their approval.
Relatives will still have the right to object to a family member’s organs being removed, but if they cannot be contacted a transplant will go ahead.
Officials in England are monitoring whether the new system is successful. Some religious groups have criticised the move, which health experts argue will save hundreds of lives.
The Welsh Government predicts the new law could increase the number of donors by a quarter.
Figures show that 1,000 people a year die in the UK while waiting for a donor and the number of transplants dropped last year for the first time in a decade, to 4,431.
The British Heart Foundation last night called for England to follow the Welsh lead.
Chief executive Simon Gillespie said organ donation rates in the UK are 40 per cent lower than in other European countries, such as Spain and Croatia, that already use the opt-out system.