Health and Social Care Committee

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AMs on the health committee heard more evidence on the government's proposed Organ Donation Bill on 30 January 2013.

They were warned by several experts and clinicians that the process by which family members could object to organ donation under the planned opt out system had to be clear.

Sir Peter Simpson, chair of the UK Donor Ethics Committee said that a ranking system where all family members had to be consulted would result in a "logistical nightmare" for doctors - and could jeopardise transplants themselves due to delays.

Critical care specialist Dr Peter Matthews said the bill would need to ensure that intensive care units were not used solely for the purposes of harvesting organs.

He said there had been examples of patients with no chance of survival being brought into intensive care units only in order that their organs could still be suitable for transplant - a process he called "a dangerous precedent".

He also said that many patients viewed organ donation as a positive, altruistic act, with an opt-out system seen as the state "taking" their organs after death.

AMs were told that organ donation was one of the most difficult areas for clinicians who wanted a "solid and safe" legal framework within which to work.

They also heard concerns that the publicity campaign to raise public awareness of the change needed to be properly resourced and understandable to all sections of the population.

Darllenwch hwn yn Gymraeg

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