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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

A marathon session on organ donation

Last night's marathon plenary session on the Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill could prove to be a seminal moment in the development of the Welsh Assembly.

Members spent five hours debating a huge number of amendments to the bill covering a wide range of ethical and legal issues. The quality of the debate was exceptional and good-humoured. It was not dominated by party political considerations but often saw members of the same group contradicting each other.

This was the visible manifestation of a maturing legislature and I was proud to switch on the television later to see it featured on all the national news channels as well as Newsnight. We made the UK headlines for all the right reasons, for passing a ground-breaking piece of legislation that could make a significant difference to the lives of ordinary people.

We also showed that we could disagree on fundamental principles and issues whilst remaining civilised and polite to each other.There was no shouting, no swinging of the mace over heads and nobody sought to belittle another member for their views.

After 14 years, two of which with primary legislative powers, we are starting to look and feel like a National Parliament and I, for one am proud to be a member of it.
I just want to know how on earth this legislation (in its rolled out form) will differential reliably between Welsh residents who lived in Wales more than 12 months, then left to live somewhere else and then returned, but only to visit for a month or two for a short term contract/job... what if they are not carrying an opt out card and die in a car crash - will their organs be harvested?
If they are not resident in Wales it does not apply to them. In any case their relatives will be consulted before any action is taken.
So Americans who live in Wales will have their organs removed absent carrying an opt out card. Consulting relatives is MEANINGLESS unless said relatives are allowed to stop organ removal from their dead relative.

So an American who resides in Wales but doesn't carry an organ card and dies in a car crash can have their organs removed based on a 'consultation' that is not controlling.

I am telling my American friends not to take up residence in Wales if they don't want their organs removed.

(a) you would have to be resident for 12 months (b) you can opt out (c) you would have to be on a life support machine or your organs would be useless and (d) nothing would happen unless your relatives had been consulted and they could veto it on the basis of your known views
No - there should have been an amendment passed that removes Americans from this new legislation - same goes for Japanese living in Wales, same for any non-EU citizen living in Wales. This is simply OUTRAGEOUS. Wales is now toxic for Americans and other foreigners who don't believe in removal of their organs.
If Americans are resident in Wales then they can opt out like anybody else. It wont be difficult. Anyway, what is so special about Americans?
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