March, 2020

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Mid and East Antrim Council backs opt-out organ donation motion.

Cllr Friary tabled the item in support of the Donate4Dáithí led by the family of three-year-old Daithí Mac Gabhann who is currently waiting for a lifesaving heart transplant.

Speaking at the monthly meeting, Councillor Friary said: “Soft opt-out organ donation is a system where it is assumed everyone has given their consent to be an organ donor, unless otherwise stated.

“Currently, we only have the opt-in system. Research shows that countries with a soft opt-out system in place leads to a higher number of organ donations.

“This proposal is not just a call for legislation to be introduced but for a high-profiled communication and awareness-raising strategy to begin pre and post introduction.

“It is also a call for further investment in our health system to bring about the recruitment of specialist organ donation nurses and for further investment in our intensive care units.

“Whilst this is a legislative issue which needs to be addressed in the Assembly, I’m asking that we, across all our parties encourage our members, support base and wider society to register themselves as organ donors in the absence of soft opt-out legislation and begin to have those sensitive conversations.

“We at local Council level have an important role in supporting and lobbying on such serious issues.”