Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Senate to discuss organ donation

Latest politics news
Latest politics news

Senators will end their summer recess a month early today when they return to the upper house to discuss controversial organ donation laws.

The Seanad was recalled after Fianna Fail's Mark Daly secured 20 signatures from members.

They supported his campaign to examine an EU directive that was enshrined into Irish law without debate last August.

Mr Daly wants the legislation annulled on the basis Health Minister James Reilly signed off on it months before the Oireachtas health committee held the relevant hearings.

Mr Daly, who was nominated to the Seanad by the Irish Kidney Association, has also argued the law is flawed.

He said it fails to establish one single authority on organ donation and transplantation, and that the Government had missed an important opportunity to fix Ireland's transplant system.

The Government has proposed to change the organ donation system to one of presumed consent.

The motion - that Seanad Eireann resolves that Statutory Instrument No. 325 of 2012 European Union (Quality and Safety of Human Organs Intended for Transplantation) Regulations 2012 be annulled - will be debated from 10am today.

The recall of the Seanad, which was not due to return until September, comes ahead of a referendum on its abolition in October.

Fianna Fail also campaigned to have the Dail recalled, but despite getting support from fellow opposition party Sinn Fein, it was unable to get support from enough TDs.

Fine Gael has dismissed Mr Daly's campaign as a political stunt.

Meanwhile, junior health minister Alex White has argued the EU regulations set out a clear legal framework for quality and safety standards for organs intended for transplantation.

He said annulling the legislation would put Ireland in conflict with European legislation.

He said the regulations set requirements for the safe transportation of organs and for the characterisation of every donor and organ.

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