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25 May 2022

Tipperary TD calls for an update on organ donation process

Tipperary TD calls for an update on organ donation process

Tipperary TD Michael Lowry has called for an update on organ donation process

Tipperary TD Deputy Michael Lowry has sought an update on Government plans to update the organ donation process in Ireland.

Addressing An Taoiseach, Michéal Martin, during Promised Legislation in the Dáil, Deputy Lowry emphasised that the life saving need for organ donation cannot be stressed strongly enough.

Deputy Lowry said that organ donation and transplants had significantly reduced worldwide during the Covid-19 pandemic, with Ireland recording one of the most significant falls in donors.

Part of the reason for this was that clinical staff were redeployed to help with the influx of Covid patients, with lung transplantation being the worst impacted, followed by heart transplants and liver transplants. Kidney transplants, from both living and deceased donors, also fell.

Lives that could have been saved were lost, said the Independent TD.

"The Minister for Health has spoken about switching consent for Organ Donation from the current Opt-In system to an Opt-Out decision. This means that people will have to indicate that they do not wish to become donors following their death. Otherwise, if suitable, their organs could be harvested," said Deputy Lowry.

The Thurles-based TD said that the key factor in implementing such a system would be having trained organ donation staff in every ICU department in every hospital. Currently trained staff are attached to each hospital group, but not to each hospital.

The present donor card system was also outdated and potential donors should have the facility to register their intent on a national database, he said.

"Where do we stand on updating the organ donation process?" asked Deputy Lowry.

This week is National Organ Donation Week.

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