What's the Latest Development?
On Tuesday (July 2) Wales became the first country in the UK to institute an opt-out policy for organ donation, basically creating organ donors out of all people over 18 who have lived in the country for at least one year prior to their death. The measure was passed by 43 to 8, despite objections from religious groups and others, and represented a "landmark day" for the country, said Welsh health minister Mark Drakeford. In response to fears that the government's wishes will overrule those of families, the health ministry insisted there would be safeguards, including giving relatives the ability to prove that their loved one did not want to be an organ donor.
What's the Big Idea?
The measure was passed in response to an acute organ shortage in the country. According to Drakeford, one-third of the Welsh population is on the donor registry, but another third have expressed willingness in organ donation, and "[they are the] people who don't get round to putting their names down. We're hoping to make inroads into that." However, Archbishop Barry Morgan expressed the concerns of many of the faithful when he said that "donation ought to be a gift of love, of generosity. If organs can be taken unless someone has explicitly registered an objection, that's...more a medical use of a body."
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