‘Great news’ on live-saving opt-out organ donation law

NEWS the Executive has signed off on a “soft opt-out” organ donation bill has been welcomed locally.
Under the new bill, which will now proceed through the Assembly for ratification, every person will be considered to be willing to donate their organs unless they formally opt out or are in an exempted category. Families will continued to be consulted about organ donations, as will considerations regarding faith and beliefs.
Having signed off on the bill last week, the First Minister Paul Givan, Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, and Health Minister Robin Swann met with organ donation campaigners Dáithí, Maírtín and Seph MacGabhann at Stormont Castle.
Four-year-old Dáithí has been waiting four years for a heart transplant, and his parents have been campaigning for the soft opt-out legislation. Dáithí is one of 115 people across the North currently  
waiting on a life-changing or life-saving organ transplant, and every year between 10-15 people die here while waiting on a transplant. Only one percent of patients die in cases of a successful transplant, meaning the new legislation could save many families from needless heartbreak each year.

Local MLA Jemma Dolan also met with the MacGabhann family, who hail from Belfast, last week at Stormont. She said it was “great news” the Executive had signed off on the bill, which is expected to move quickly through the Assembly.
“This is truely life-saving legislation and will make a real difference to many families in the north,” said Ms Dolan.
“The Donate4Dáithí campaign have done fantastic work in bringing this discussion into our homes and families. It is important that people have the conversation about organ donation with their family and loved ones.
“Having followed and supported the Donate4Dáithí campaign for many years now it was a privilege to meet Dáithí Mac Gabhann and his parents at the Assembly this week.
“This is a really important issue and I look forward to seeing the soft opt-out organ donation bill passed through the Assembly and into law.”



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