As part of a four-nation agreement, the Welsh Government has announced that restrictions preventing some LGBTQ+ people from donating tissue, surgical bone and stem cells will be lifted in Wales.
Recommendations were provided to the Welsh Government following a review by the FAIR (For the Assessment of Individualised Risk) steering group, a UK-wide collaboration including representatives from all UK blood services, medical, scientific and academic experts, LGBTQ+ groups, as well as a selection of patients, donors and their families.
Tissue and cell donation can save and change the lives of patients in need. Tissue donors provide skin, tendons, bone and other tissues, used to repair or rebuild the bodies and faces of severely injured people whilst donated skin, bone and heart valves can save or improve the quality of life for many patients. Donations can be made by living donors, or by deceased donors, following discussions with the deceased’s family.
Bone marrow/stem cells also provide lifesaving treatments to patients suffering from certain types of cancers and other blood and immune system diseases that affect the bone marrow. The Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry (WBMDR) and other UK registries collect bone marrow/stem cells from donors for patients who need lifesaving transplants both here in the UK and worldwide.