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Bill to introduce ‘opt-out’ donation system published

Minister for Health Simon Harris has welcomed Government approval for the publication of the General Scheme of a Human Tissue (Transplantation, Post-Mortem, Anatomical Examination, and Public Display) Bill.

The approval made today is for the Bill that will  regulate the removal, retention, storage, use and disposal of human tissue from deceased persons and also  provide for an opt-out system of consent for organ donation.

“For almost 200 years the only primary legislation governing the use of human tissue was the Anatomy Act of 1832,” said Minister Harris.  

“The Bill will repeal that Act and create a modern legislative framework of consent.”

The Minister highlighted the opt-out system of consent within the Bill.

“I strongly believe that this opt-out system could transform organ donation in Ireland. In order for it to be most effective, it will be supported by a series of other measures,” said Minister Harris.  

“It is so important we do everything we can to make organ donation the norm in Ireland when people pass away in circumstances where donation is a possibility.”

Also speaking today Prof Jim Egan, Director of HSE’s Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland, stated, “The opt-out system is one of a number of measures required to optimise our organ donation rates.”  

“The plan is that the legislation will dovetail with awareness campaigns, enhanced infrastructure, training for medical staff and audit, to ensure that all opportunities for transplantation are followed through.”

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