The Primate of the Church in Wales' Presidential Address

The Welsh Government intends to bring forward legislation soon, where instead of opting in to be an organ donor and therefore signing a card, it will be assumed that everyone is willing to donate their organs after death unless they have opted out. The trouble at the moment is that whereas 90% of the population say that they would be willing to be organ donors, only a third have signed the national register or carry a donor card. So the Government in Wales (but in no other part of the UK) proposes to bring in a law where it will be presumed that you are willing to donate your organs after death unless you have specifically opted not to do so.

One can understand the thinking behind all this. Most European States have more donors per head of population than Britain. In the UK as a whole, there are around 10,000 people waiting at any one time for a new heart, kidney or liver and three people a day die because there is no suitable organ ready for them. The waiting list for a kidney patient is three years whilst heart and liver patients wait on average six months. Organ transplants have a phenomenal degree of success these days and 90% of transplanted organs function really well a year after surgery and patients who have received them can often live for a decade or two.
The Welsh Government, sensitive to the fact that this is quite a radical departure, also proposes what it calls the “soft opt-out option” ”“ relatives will be able to have the right of veto on organ donation. Yet, although all this is admirable in its intention, I feel a bit uneasy, not about organ donations or transplants because there are strict guidelines governing these and gifting organs is a laudable practice, but about presumed consent.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Wales

10 comments on “The Primate of the Church in Wales' Presidential Address

  1. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Pageantmaster’s Law: The length of a Primate’s address is inversely proportional to the size of the Province. Discuss.

    Then again, it may be a Welsh thing.

  2. driver8 says:

    Are you suggesting Archbish Bazza likes the sound of his own voice?

  3. clarin says:

    #1: Ah yes, the Land of Our Fathers – and Kinnockio the windbag.

  4. William S says:

    I was present at this address earlier today. Though I do not often find myself in agreement with the Archbishop, it would be churlish not to give credit where it is due. What he had to say about organ donation was absolutely right. It has not won him any friends in the secular press (the Welsh press has reported this very negatively). He was criticised from the floor of Governing Body by one liberally-inclined member. So, even if there are many and very significant points where I am convinced he is wrong – we shouldn’t allow that to prevent us recognising when he is right.

  5. Martin Reynolds says:

    “churlish” – perhaps a good description of those with whom you are naturally allied here, Will.
    I note you mention an attack on Barry from a “liberally-inclined member” – but surely this is an issue where the opinion is not on “party lines”, I support the Archbishop’s argument as do conservative libertarian friends.
    It is a shame when we are always seeking to divide ourselves ………

  6. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    I think comments here were not on merit of the address but on prolixity. It may not necessarily be a Welsh thing as the lengths of comments #4 and #5 attest, so it may indeed be an example of Pageantmaster’s Law. Why use one word when thirty-two will do?

    There seem to be plenty of churls to go around, including on the sites you seem to be more naturally allied with Rev Reynolds.

  7. Martin Reynolds says:

    Ahhh …. I regret that might be true too Pageantmaster ……. Hmmmmm!

  8. Martin Reynolds says:

    Though in general, with perhaps just one minor irritant that’s easily ignored, I feel very at home here too Pageantmaster.

  9. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    We all have our cross to bear.

  10. Sarah says:

    RE: “perhaps a good description of those with whom you are naturally allied here, Will . . . ”

    Well, from a revisionist TECers definition of “churlish” that is absolutely and wonderfully true.

    But then a revisionist TECers notions of “churl” are often a traditionalist TECers notions of “excellent hero” and vice versa.

    Thus, we don’t need to seek “to divide ourselves” — we are divided because our foundational worldviews are mutually antithetical.