Independent TD Mattie McGrath has expressed his serious disappointment about how a debate on Private Member’s Bill on Organ Donation which was initiated by Deputy Tom Flemming was conducted in the Dail. The Bill seeks to create a change in the existing ‘Opt In’ framework for organ donation and replace it with one where consent is presumed, a so called ‘Opt Out’ system:
“It was deeply frustrating to see that apart from Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan, not one member of the Labour Party thought this Bill worthy of consideration. Indeed one can only suspect that although the need to stimulate a vital national conversation on organ donation is necessary, it does not seem to pass the socially liberal litmus test that seems to be the only criteria that Labour care about these days.”
The system proposed seeks to give assurance to the public that organ donation and transplantation are national priorities and should help to encourage a greater proportion of the population to be organ donors. Ireland is lagging behind the rest of Europe with regard to proper infrastructure and a lack of public awareness regarding organ donation.
“Given the seriousness of the issue under discussion, and the apparent acknowledgment of the urgency of the situation by Minister Of State O’Sullivan, It was shocking to sit there and watch as she left the Dáil chamber after a paltry seven minute intervention. An intervention I might add that barely took up half the time allotted to her. If this is all the time Labour can give to those individuals, families and Transplant organisations who have worked tirelessly on this issue, then Labour needs to seriously re-evaluate their priorities,” concluded Deputy McGrath.