Ógra Fianna Fáil has recently issued a policy document to encourage organ donation and to raise awareness of the issue. In this article, National Policy and Campaign Director Mark Stokes reports…
Ógra Fianna Fáil has launched proposals aimed at significantly increasing the number of organ donors in Ireland and boost awareness of organ donation.
The youth organisation published its policy on organ donation today (Wednesday, 03 April) to coincide with Organ Donor Awareness week.
Newly elected President of Ógra Fianna Fáil Kate Feeney says much more needs to be done to promote organ donation on a constant basis.
“There are over 600 people in Ireland currently awaiting organ donations and our donation rate fell 17% between 2011 and 2012. This issue may be to the fore this week, but for the vast majority of the year it does not get the attention it deserves. We believe there is great untapped potential to promote organ donation and increase the number of people who want to save lives by becoming organ donors,” Ms Feeney said.
The Ógra proposals include:
- The establishment of a National Organ Donor Registry: This would allow people to register as organ donors online or to opt out of organ donation. It would provide the infrastructure required to increase participation in organ donation and keep the issue on the public agenda. It would also provide a shared network between hospitals to determine if potential donors have consented to organ donation.
- Increased education on organ donation in schools: All Leaving Certificate students would receive a two-hour module on organ donation so that they are familiar with the system in operation in Ireland and can make an informed choice on whether or not they would like to be organ donors.
- The retention of the current system of donor consent: The current Programme for Government contains plans to legislate for an ‘opt-out’ system of organ donation. This is not the answer. The introduction of an opt-out system without additional services on the – ground will not increase the number of organ donations in Ireland. Generally where ‘opt-out’ systems are in place, the consent of the family is still required.
- Support for EU initiative on Transplant Coordinators: Transplant Coordinators in the acute hospitals to identify potential organ donors, donor management and work with families impacted by organ donation.
Ógra Fianna Fáil’s Organ Donor Policy Document can be found here.