The Minister for Health has expressed his hope that an opt-out system of consent for organ donation will become law in 2018.
Mr Harris announced the opening of a public consultation on a Human Tissue Bill, which will inform the drafting of legislation to regulate the removal, retention, storage, use and disposal of human tissue from deceased persons, in addition to outlining the conditions of this process, and providing for an opt-out system of consent.
Speaking today at the offices of Organ Donation and Transplantation Ireland, Minister Harris said: “It is my aim that organ donation is made the norm in Ireland when people pass away, in circumstances in which donation is a possibility.
He expressed his particular interest in hearing the views of the public on methods of increasing awareness of organ donation and of increasing the number of organs donated in this country.
“Transplantation is a vital life-saving treatment, but it depends on the altruism of others. It is important that we do all we can to increase the number of organs available for transplantation”, he concluded.
In all, 280 transplants were carried out in 2016, including a record 50 Living Kidney Donor transplants.
The consultation questionnaire is available online at http://health.gov.ie/consultations and the closing date for submissions is 09 October 2017.