Welsh head list of UK organ donors

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

The Welsh are more likely to become organ donors than others in Britain.

Experts looked at kidney, liver, heart, lung and cornea donation rates and found Wales led the field, followed by Northern Ireland, England and Scotland, British media reports said.

The University of Ulster team analysed data between 1990 to 2009, and compared data on registration and donation from other European countries.

Wales consistently outperformed its UK neighbours, both in terms of the percentage of people registered and its organ donation rate, which had been higher than the UK average for most of the past 20 years.

The authors recommended more research on the issue of presumed consent, which would mean people would have to opt out of becoming a donor, or their organs may be used. This approach has been suggested as a way of boosting donation rates.

The Welsh government plans to introduce presumed consent on the condition that family members should be consulted. Groups like the Kidney Wales Foundation support the idea, but the Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, told the BBC that organs should be donated as a gift and not as an "asset of the state".

In the British Medical Journal experts warned: "Improvement of organ donation rates is unlikely to be achieved by introducing new legislation alone."

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