The Strangford Assembly Member said: “I support this legislation because there are a large number of people awaiting life-saving organ transplants. These laws will help ensure that more organs are available for transplant operations.
“Having said that, it is extremely important that the issue is approached with the utmost sensitivity, to prevent further upset for relatives who have lost loved ones.
“I would encourage people to carry a donor card to ensure that they are able to make a difference and potentially save someone’s live through organ donation. Organ donation must however be an opt-in scheme as opposed to an opt-out scheme, because people must be allowed to pro-actively make the decision for themselves.
“I also welcome this legislation because it ensures that organ removal or storage, without consent, has been made a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment for up to three years. This will ensure that such activities, which happened in numerous hospitals throughout the UK, and caused massive upset to relatives, will be prevented in future.”