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People urged to complete organ donation consultation

PEOPLE in the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) area are being encouraged to share their views on organ donation. 

The consultation period on new “Opt-out” proposals ends this Friday February, 19 at 5pm.

Launched in early December 2020 by Health Minister Robin Swan, the aim of the consultation is to capture the public’s views on introducing new legislation to change the current system here from “opt-in” to “opt-out.”

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Under this proposed opt-out legislation, it is considered that everyone would be willing to donate their organs unless they have formally opted out. The family would continue to be consulted about donation as well as considerations around faith and beliefs. This will not change.

Speaking about the importance of the consultation Dr Declan Grace, Lead Clinician for Organ Donation at the Western Trust, said, “The value of an accurate and reflective Organ Donation Register cannot be overstated as one donor has the potential to save up to 9 lives.

“Currently in Northern Ireland donation will only ever proceed if a person had given their express consent for organ donation, usually by signing on to the NHS Organ Donor Register and/or speaking to their family. In the absence of this, the family is asked to make a difficult decision on behalf of the patient.”

“This new system would assume that consent has been given unless the individual has “opted out.” This simple legislative change has the power to make a huge different to those people waiting on the register and gives everyone one of us the ability to save lives.”

The consultation closes at 5pm on 19 February 2021.

Everyone is encouraged to read about the consultation and submit a response at:

 www.health-ni.gov.uk/consultations/organ-donation

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