Health Minister should examine opt out scheme to boost organ donation

Alliance Health Spokesperson Kieran McCarthy MLA has called on the Health Minister to examine options to increase organ donation locally. He said that the Michael McGimpsey should consider introduce a scheme of presumed consent for those who do not opt out. The UK ‘s Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson earlier this week called for an opt-out system on organ donation to be introduced.

Opposition MLA, Mr McCarthy said: “I sincerely hope that the Health Minister will examine the possibility of introducing an opt-out organ donation scheme, as suggested by Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson.

“This is an extremely important issue because there is a real shortage of donors locally. In the UK, Northern Ireland is the region with the lowest proportion of the population on the donors register. Any measure which would help improve the situation for people who are depending on organ donation simply must be considered.

“Michael McGimpsey should look at a number of approaches to improve the level of organ donation locally. As well as considering the opt-out option, he should look into implementing more awareness raising campaigns in community centres, health clinics and shopping centres, for example.

“This is however a very sensitive issue and I acknowledge that many people will not want to be involved in organ donation. Any new scheme must ensure that it is easy to opt out. Peoples wishes and rights need to be respected and strongly protected.”


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