Health Minister Welcomes Progress On Organ Donation Bill

The Executive has agreed to the motion for the proposed changes to NI's organ donation rules.

Welcome the progress of his Organ and Tissue Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill, Health Minister Robin Swann said: "Today is another positive step forward in what has been a long journey for all involved in the organ donation process. It has been a privilege to bring the Second Stage of the Bill to the Assembly today and very timely that Assembly colleagues have agreed to the motion on the first day of Organ Donation Week."

Minister Swann continued: "In Northern Ireland we have a good record of organ donation, which we should rightly be proud of. However, with so many local people waiting for a transplant, we must do all we can to increase the number of organs available for transplantation.

"The Organ Donation Bill, which we hope will be enacted in Spring 2023, will strengthen the current legislative framework around organ donation and will increase the current rate of consent in the small number of cases in which it is clinically possible for organ donation to proceed after a person's death. Doing so will increase the overall number of donors, and ultimately the number of lifesaving organs available for transplantation."
News Image
Turning to Organ Donation Week, the Health Minister urged everyone in Northern Ireland to talk to their family and friends about organ donation: "It remains important for people to discuss their wishes with friends and family, and to join the Organ Donor Register – this week presents the perfect opportunity to have that conversation. Currently, 50% of the Northern Ireland population has signed the Organ Donor Register, but we still need more as there are around 115 Northern Ireland residents on the active waiting list for a lifesaving transplant."

Organ Donation Week is a celebration of organ and tissue donation and transplantation which saves and transforms hundreds of lives each year. The aim of the week is to encourage conversations across generations to get everyone talking about organ donation, and to inspire new registrations to the Organ Donor Register.

Whilst the pandemic means that it is not possible to hold the usual programme of events in person this year, a series of virtual events and initiatives will be taking place across media platforms with health Trusts, Councils, charities and other organisations sharing messages and stories about organ donation. A number of iconic local buildings will also light up to mark the occasion and to honour organ donors and their families.

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 April 2013
80% Increase In NI Organ Donors
Northern Ireland has seen an increase of 81.8% in deceased organ donors over the last five years. The news comes as the NHS confirms it has achieved its target of a 50% increase for the whole of the UK, as laid out in the Organ Donation Taskforce in 2008.
16 November 2020
Buy Belfast Virtual Christmas Market To Launch This Week
The Buy Belfast Virtual Christmas Market will launch online this Friday, 20 November, featuring more than 100 local businesses and entrepreneurs, thanks to support from Belfast City Council. The virtual market is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week and will run through the festive period until Sunday 20 December 2020.
25 July 2001
Minister promotes new measures for organ donation
Health Minister Bairbre de Brún has revealed new measures aimed at encouraging greater awareness in Northern Ireland surrounding the issue of organ donation.
09 July 2015
Health Minister Welcomes New NHS Organ Donor Register
A new NHS Organ Donor Register has launched today, 09 July. The NHS Organ Donor Register has been in operation for more than 20 years and more than 619,000 people in Northern Ireland have signed up to it, 34% of the total population. Around 42% of the adult population are on the Organ Donor Register.
12 February 2014
Fifteen NI People Die Annually Waiting For A Transplant
Around 200 people in Northern Ireland are on the transplant waiting list and unfortunately around 15 people die each year waiting for an organ. Despite support for organ donation being extremely high, just 31% of the population here are on the organ donor register.