Concern over ‘rushed’ organ legislation

[Posted: Mon 10/09/2012 by Niall Hunter, Editor]

The Irish Kidney Association has expressed concern about the adequacy of new organ donation and transplantation legislation recently signed into law by Health Minister James Reilly.

The new law, although it has now been formally passed, is to be debated in the Seanad by securing a petition of over 20 senators to have it discussed and amendments proposed retrospectively.

Fianna Fail Senator Mark Daly, who is pressing for the retrospective debate in the Seanad, said no debate took place in the Dail, Seanad or the Health Committee prior to the Minister signing the legislation into law on August 27.

“I look forward to the Minister coming before the Seanad and taking on board its concerns and recommendations as well as those of the greater organ donation and transplant community,” he said.

The new law follows an EU directive of 2010 aimed at making improvements to  the system of organ donation and transplantation in member states.

However, the IKA’s Chief Executive Mark Murphy said the Irish legislation does not do enough to make the improvements required.

“This is a lost opportunity,” he said. “We were expecting clear  leadership to emerge from the Department of Health and what we have got  is a list of shared and divided responsibilities between the HSE and the Irish Medicines Board, and no singular  competent authority to drive the action plan into the health system,  just the bare statutory requirements of the directive.”

Much of the changes required to comply with the directive have to do  with the lack of licensing or regulation of hospital operating  theatres and the reorganisation of existing transplantation roles in the health service, the IKA said.

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