Tuesday 20 August 2019

New law will allow people to donate organs to strangers

Health Minister Simon Harris. Photo: Aoife Moore/PA
Health Minister Simon Harris. Photo: Aoife Moore/PA

Cormac McQuinn and Eilish O'Regan

People who wish to donate an organ to a stranger will be able to do so under a proposed new law.

The Cabinet has given Health Minister Simon Harris approval to draft the Human Tissue Bill, which also includes a "soft opt-out system" for organ donation.

This means parts of an adult's body can be used in transplants unless they have opted out - but next of kin still have a veto over organ removal.

The issue of altruistic donations has been highlighted by a Dublin doctor who travelled to Northern Ireland to donate a kidney to a sick stranger.

Dr Dominick Natin, an occupational physician in the Mater, is one of a handful of altruistic donors who have given a kidney to someone they do not know. In the Republic, donation of kidneys is confined to people who have died or from living donors among relatives or friends.

Irish Independent

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