On Wednesday, Mark Baillie CARE for Northern Ireland’s Public Affairs Officer gave evidence to the Health Committee at Stormont on the proposed Human Transplantation Bill.
In his evidence, Mark highlighted the ethical principle of organ donation being a gift and the importance of obtaining some form of positive consent from the family or friends of the deceased in cases where an individual has not made a decision as to whether they want to donate or not. This was widely supported by others giving evidence including medical professionals, civil society organisations and churches.
Mark also expressed CARE’s concern that the Bill proposes giving children the right to nominate a representative other than their parents to represent them in relation to matters of organ donation. CARE feels that this sets a worrying precedent, undermining the authority of parents and the family unit. Instead we propose that the right of children to nominate a representative other than their parents should only apply where a child does not have a parent or guardian or in cases of young people who have married aged 16 or 17.