New ‘soft opt-out’ organ donation system set to be approved by Dáil

New ‘Soft Opt-Out’ Organ Donation System Set To Be Approved By Dáil
The Human Tissue Bill will bring in a system of 'deemed' or presumed consent to organ donation after a person dies
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A law changing the State's organ donation system is set to pass through the Houses of the Oireachtas on Wednesday, with the Minister for Health announcing new funding for donation and transplant services.

The Human Tissue Bill will bring in a system of “deemed” or presumed consent to organ donation after a person dies unless they had previously registered their desire not to be an organ donor.


There will still be discussion with designated family members before the removal of organs for transplant.

There are currently 601 people waiting for a transplant, with that number expected to rise over the coming years.

An extra €1.6 million will be made available this year, following a huge effort from healthcare professionals, patient advocacy groups, legal experts and members of both houses, who have provided cross-party support for the Bill.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the new law will change lives and save lives.


"It's a really important step," he told Newstalk radio. "It's been a long time coming – for nearly 15 years people have been talking about this legislation. We've had great support and I want to acknowledge the advocacy over many years."

Groups representing people on transplant lists have long been calling for a change to the system in the hope that it will result in an increase in organ donation.

Colin White, national advocacy manager with the Irish Kidney Association, said families will still be involved in deciding whether a loved one's organs should be donated.

"It's quite a nuanced change," he told Newstalk. "We're changing from the family giving consent for organ donation to the family being asked for assent.

"So the family will be asked if there is any reason why their loved one would not want to be an organ donor."

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