Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA has warned that Northern Ireland will soon have the most out-dated organ donation system in the UK and has called for Northern Ireland to be included in the Prime Minister’s planned consultation for England.
Roy Beggs said:
“I am delighted that the Prime Minister has announced her desire for England to move to a new soft opt-out organ donation system, whereby people will be deemed to have consented unless they have indicated their wish to opt out. There is simply no question that the UK’s ability to help people who need transplants is limited by the number of organ donors that come forward.
“It is an absolute tragedy that people continue to die every year while waiting on a transplant.
“Wales already has a soft opt-out system, Scotland has said it will move to such a system shortly and this consultation in England will likely see the transformation of the organ donation system there.
“Many people will be aware of the trailblazing efforts of my colleague Jo-Anne Dobson in trying to reform Northern Ireland’s laws. Unfortunately, despite wide public support for her proposals, her Bill was ultimately cruelly voted down by the DUP and Sinn Fein.
“As a result Northern Ireland will soon have the most out-dated organ donation system of any region in the UK. In the absence of a local Executive I believe the Prime Minister’s plans for a consultation on organ donation could be expanded to include Northern Ireland to offer a new opportunity to transform our laws here as well.
“For as long as some continue to block an overhaul of our organ donation laws here, patients will continue to needlessly die.”