The Welsh Government may adopt a policy of presumed consent for organ donation in a bid to increase the number of organs and tissues available for transplantation.

A Welsh Government public consultation into the opt-out system closes at midnight on Tuesday the 31st of January 2012. A consultation response is expected to be published within the next month.

Under the Welsh Government's proposals everyone in Wales would automatically become an organ donor when they die unless they opted out. If legislation is approved, the system would start in 2015 and would be the first of its kind in the UK.

If a person has not opted out of organ donation in advance, families would have no legal right to stop dead relatives' organs being used for transplant. Organs would not necessarily stay in Wales and could be given to anyone in the UK.

Some see organ donation as a gift and oppose the proposals whilst others believe the law would increase the number of organs available for transplant and save lives.

Organ transplants are needed for accident victims

Today around 8,000 people are awaiting an organ transplant. The majority of people on the waiting list will have a disease or virus causing damage or organ failure, but others will be awaiting a transplant following an accident.

Internal organ damage can be the result of a road traffic accident, fall from height or an accident at work.

Many organ donors are accident victims, most commonly those who have had a devastating brain injury.