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Organ Donation – Introducing an opt-out system of consent

As part of fulfilling a commitment in the Programme for Government, we are introducing an opt-out system of consent for organ donation. Under an opt-out system, consent is deemed unless the person has, while alive, registered his/her wish not to become an organ donor after death. However, it is proposed that, even though consent is deemed, the next of kin will in practice always be consulted prior to removing any organ.  If the next of kin objects to the organ donation, the donation will not proceed. This is known as a “soft” opt-out system. In 2013, the Department undertook a public consultation on the practical aspects of introducing an opt-out system of consent for organ donation.  Read the consultation document here.  In November 2013, we organised round table discussions, opened by the Minister for Health.  Read his speech here and a summary of the feedback here. EU Directive 2012/53/EU This Directive deals with the donation, procurement, testing, characterisation, transport and transplantation of organs. It was transposed into Irish law on 27 August 2012 by way of regulations.  The regulations set out a clear legal framework for the application of quality and safety standards for human organs intended for transplantation. The Irish Medicines Board is the competent authority under the Regulations and it must authorise donation and transplantation in accordance with the requirements of the Regulations. You can get more information from these links: European Commission – Public Health European Framework for the Evaluation of Organ Transplants European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare Eurotransplant Council of Europe