The Group is fully supportive of all forms of organ donation, and is actively involved in the current campaign to bring about a change in the legislation in Northern Ireland to bring into law an opt-out system for organ donation. The proposed change would bring us into line with the law in Scotland, England, Wales and soon the Republic of Ireland.
It would assume all adults in Northern Ireland (with certain exemptions) are willing to act as an organ donor, unless they specifically advise otherwise and ‘opt out’ of the process. The aim of the change in legislation is to bring about the clear wishes of 80% of the adult population in the Province, who have indicated that they would be willing to be a donor, despite only 48% actually signing the organ donor register to indicate this. Consent to be a donor would be assumed under the new legislation.
One donor has the potential to save up to 9 lives, and in 2019/20 in Northern Ireland there were 51 deceased donors and 89 life-saving and life transforming transplants from deceased donors for Northern Ireland residents. However there are still 115 people in Northern Ireland on the waiting list and in 2020, 11 people in Northern Ireland died while awaiting an organ transplant.