Welsh Jews protest potential organ donation law

(JNS.org) The Welsh government is proposing a new law that will make everyone an automatic organ donor unless they officially opt out. Religious groups in the country, including Jewish, are voicing their objections. 

“We believe that people should be able, or the family of the deceased should be able, to agree to organs being taken as a gift as a donation. I would have preferred there not have been a bill,” said Stanley Soffa, chairman of the South Wales Jewish Representative Council, according to the BBC.

Currently in Wales, specialist nurses approach families of potential donors even if they are not listed in the donor registry. Of those, about 60 percent agree to donate their organs or the organs of a loved one. The Welsh government hopes to increase this figure with the new law by 15 extra donors and about 45 more organs for transplant throughout the UK every year.

“Under the current system, clinicians take a sympathetic approach with families and strive to help them make decisions in accordance with their faith, even though if the person is on the organ donor register they have the legal right to proceed with transplantation. There will be the same approach in principle if the new law is passed,” a Welsh government spokesman said.

Posted on November 5, 2012 .