Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Submission on Organ Donation

Those who may not have already sent in a submission in relation to the proposed Human Tissue Bill, at present under consideration by the Irish Government, might like to know that the closing date for receipt of submissions from the public has now been extended to 14 March.

There are three options which have been put forward, as follows:

Option A – Opt-out: sometimes called presumed consent
(The person is presumed to have consented to donate his or her organs after death unless he or she has specified otherwise.)

Option B – Opt-in: sometimes called explicit consent
(The person can decide in advance to consent to donate his or her organs, or to nominate someone to make the decision on his/her behalf after death. Where the deceased has not made a decision his or her family may do so.)

Option C – Mandated choice and required request
(A person would be required by law to specify whether or not he/she wishes to donate their organs after death.)

Submissions should be sent either by e-mail: tissue_legislation@health.gov.ie
Or, alternatively, by post, to: Tissue Legislation Consultation, Department of Health and Children, R. 324, Hawkins House, Hawkins Street, Dublin 2

This is a very serious subject, and the importance of our response cannot be overestimated. For more information about the ethical issues surrounding organ donation, see John Smeaton's blog here and here.