Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has this week supported calls for an opt out clause for Organ Donation in Ireland. Speaking in the Dail, Deputy Heydon emphasised the importance of raising awareness of organ donation and believes a system of presumed consent will lead to increased donations.

“This is an issue I feel very strongly about as I myself only have one kidney. I am glad that the Minister has accepted the importance of a change and is looking at a system of presumed consent which would mean consent for organ donation is assumed unless a person or their family specifically chose to opt out.

“Leaving aside the obvious medical and other benefits, increasing organ donation makes economic sense for us. It currently costs about €70,000 a year for a person to receive dialysis treatment and often those people cannot work and are reliant on the state for illness supports and medical costs. A transplant costs approximately €50,000 but will leave the patient in a position to return to work and be self sufficient.

“I am very aware of and highlighted to the Minister that a system of presumed consent on its own is not enough to increase organ donation levels. As part of any new system additional support needs to be provided for increased amounts of coordinators in hospitals, and extra teams in hospitals for harvesting organs and dealing with families.

“I am happy to see movement on this issue, which should also help increase awareness of the importance of Organ Donation for all.”