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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Charity criticises organ donor move

Michael Brennan

THE country's leading kidney transplant charity has described government plans to have organs of dead people donated automatically as "unworkable".

The coalition has promised legislation for an 'opt-out' system for organ transplantation.

This would mean a dead person would be automatically presumed to be willing to donate organs -- unless they had opted out by signing a special register.

It would replace the current 'opt-in' system -- whereby organs are only donated if people have donor cards, or their families give permission.

But the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) has written to new Health Minister James Reilly seeking a meeting about the planned change. IKA chief executive Mark Murphy said: "If I thought it was going to work, I'd be for it." The best way to improve organ donation was to have skilled medical personnel in hospitals who could convince grieving families about the benefits of organ donation, he said.

The Department of Health said Mr Reilly would meet the IKA at the earliest opportunity. But it maintained the 'opt out' system did not mean organs would be taken without the full consent of the family.

Irish Independent

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