Paul Givan Michelle O’Neill and Robin Swann greeted activists Dáithí, Maírtín and Seph Mac Gabhann at Stormont Castle after the executive approved the Minister of Health’s bill on new soft law on donation. organs, which will now be submitted to the NI Assembly.
Four-year-old Dáithí has been on the waiting list for a heart transplant for more than three years. Her family campaigned for a move towards a soft withdrawal law and to raise awareness about organ donation.
Under the proposed opt-out legislation, it is considered that anyone would be willing to donate their organs unless they have formally chosen not to participate or fall into one. exempt categories. The family would continue to be consulted on the gift as well as on faith and belief considerations.
Around 115 people in Northern Ireland are on the transplant waiting list, and each year around 10 to 15 people in Northern Ireland die while waiting for an organ transplant. Since only a very small proportion (around 1%) of deaths occur in circumstances where organ donation can take place, any increase in the consent rate will make more vital organs available for transplantation.
Prime Minister Paul Givan said: “I am delighted that the soft opt-out organ donation bill can now be forwarded to the Assembly for consideration and debate. It is a landmark day for so many people and their families who are currently on a waiting list.
“Today I had the joy and the privilege of meeting one of the youngest, the incredible Dáithí Mac Gabhann, with his father Maírtín. I am in awe of his fighting spirit. He deserves the hope that this bill brings.
Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “I am delighted that we have now been able to move this life-saving legislation forward and that it will now move to the next assembly stage.
“As little Dáithí visited us at Stormont Castle today, we didn’t have to look far to see the huge difference this legislation will make in the lives of those awaiting transplants and transplants. their families. It is the gift of life and the gift of hope. The Mac Gabhann – Dáithí family and their mum and dad, Seph and Maírtín, have led a strong and dignified campaign for change and they should be so proud of the work they have done to achieve it.
“We don’t have to wait for new legislation to think about organ donation. People waiting for transplants don’t have the luxury of time, so I urge everyone to have the conversation with their families today. It could save a life. “
Health Minister Robin Swann said: “The introduction of a smooth withdrawal system would be an important step forward for organ donation in Northern Ireland. We already have a great track record in organ donation and transplants, but phasing out will save many lives each year.
“My ministry recently consulted on this and it is clear that there is public support for a shift to phase-out. Therefore, I welcome the executive’s agreement this week and look forward to presenting the Organ and Tissue Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill to the Assembly.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the activists who have helped us reach this stage. In particular, Joanne Dobson and Dáithí Mac Gabhann and his family. They have done a wonderful job and are to be congratulated.