Press Release

Minister Reilly addresses Organ Donation and Transplantation Consultation Event Follows public consultation on introduction of an opt-out system for organ donation

The Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD, today (21st November) addressed a consultation event on organ donation and transplantation.

Over 80 stakeholders attended the event in Dublin Castle. It was organised by the Department of Health in conjunction with the HSE’s National Organ Donation and Transplantation Office. It follows on from the public consultation undertaken earlier this year on the practicalities of introducing an opt-out system of consent for organ donation.

The Minister said “I firmly believe that the introduction of an opt-out system is an integral element in changing our cultural attitude towards organ donation. We need to make organ donation the norm in Irish society and to make it the default position for those people who die in circumstances where donation is a possibility.”

The Minister acknowledged that changing the system of consent is just one aspect in a package of measures that will be required to increase organ donation rates. “Against the background of the challenging budgetary situation organ donation and transplantation is one of my stated priorities for 2014. The introduction of an opt-out system is a commitment in the Programme for Government designed to improve the availability of organs for patients who need them”.

Minister Reilly concluded by thanking all the stakeholders for their input and looked forward to continuing co-operation in the work to enhance organ donation and transplantation rates to the benefit of patients and their families. “Organ donation truly represents a ‘gift of life’ and it can bring much consolation to the families of the donors, as well as happiness to the recipients and their families”.

Notes for Editors

All the documents relating to the work being done by the Department on the introduction of an opt-out system for organ donation will be available from this afternoon from HERE. The outputs from the consultation event will inform the work of the Department in drawing up legislative proposals which will give effect to the opt-out policy. An overview of the submissions received during the public consultation will be made available on the Department’s website shortly.