March 24, 2010 9:00 AM

Cardiff Central MP Jenny Willott has lent her support to the campaign for a new 'opt-out' system for organ donation in Wales.

The local MP has signed an Early Day Motion in Parliament which calls for a so-called 'soft opt-out' programme that will presume people to be organ donors unless they opt-out, cannot be identified, their immediate relatives object or there is evidence that they would have probably chosen to opt-out of the system.

The proposals, which are backed by the Kidney Research Unit for Wales Foundation, could lead to an increase in organ donation in Wales, potentially saving hundreds of lives across the country.

Commenting, Jenny Willott said:

"The soft opt-out system has the potential to increase organ donation by between 25 and 35%. In Wales 500 people are waiting for transplants at any one time and, despite research showing 7 in 10 people would be happy to donate their organs, only 28% of people in Wales are on the donation register. Closing this gap will help save lives.

"Unlike opt-out systems proposed in the past, this programme gives a number of safeguard to prevent people being used as donors even if their family know they intended to opt-out.

"We desperately need to increase organ donation in Wales and I very much hope that this EDM gets the support it deserves."

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