Speaking during a debate on the Human Transplantation Bill, the chair of the Assembly’s health committee said;
“Organ transplants not only save lives, but enable people to live their lives more fully, for example by freeing them from the need for dialysis.
“The majority of respondents to the consultation on the Bill, as well as the Public Health Agency’s attitudes survey were supportive of some sort of ‘soft opt-out’ option.
“It is clear we need to improve donor levels and transplantation rates.
“Consent to organ donation is a difficult decision for families to take, particularly at a time of terrible grief and loss, and it is made even more difficult if there are differences of opinion between family members or others involved.
“The Bill proposes to place additional duties on the Department to promote transplantation and provide information about transplantation through a campaign at least once a year.
“This is intended to increase the public’s understanding of organ donation and make it more socially acceptable to discuss the issue.”