‘MAKE LIFE YOUR LEGACY'
1. The aim of optforlife is to put in place a state of the art organ donationsystem North and South. Our friends and neighbours are dying needlessly. Wecan put a stop to this.2. In the North, a good infrastructure for organ donation/transplantation isalready in place. All that is needed to bring the North into line with Europe’sleading donor rate countries is the new law. In the South, a properinfrastructure is needed as well as the new law.3. On the 5th of February 2013, the NI Joint First Ministers announced that theNI Executive is moving towards the soft opt out proposal set out in thisdocument. All of the parties in the NIAssembly support it. It is endorsed by the BMA (British Medical Association) andall of the NI patient groups. An all-party group comprising MLAs, doctors andleaders of the patients’ associations has been formed to spearhead the movetowards the new law.4. The Irish government has already held public hearings in relation to 'soft optout' and iscommitted to bringing in the new law. TDs indicated their overwhelmingsupport for the proposal in the course of a Dail debate on the 1st of May 2013.
5. The proposed new law - SOFT OPT OUT
a. In future, only those who do not wish to be a donor after death need to doanything. They can register their objection to donation by opting out online. Those who opt out will not then beconsidered for donation after death.b. For the rest of the population, their families will make the decision in thehospital. The next of kin will always have to give their consent at the hospitalbefore donation can proceed. Noconsent, no donation.c. This is a system based on explicit family consent.
CONSENT IS NOTPRESUMED. THE STATE PLAYS NO ROLE IN THE PROCESS.
The decisionwhether to donate rests entirely with the family.d. This approach reflects the fact that the overwhelming majority of peoplebelieve organ donation is a good thing.e. The reason for the requirement of family consent is that we believe organdonation is a sacred gift from one family to another at a very difficult time. Thenew law will enshrine the principle that donation after death is a gift freelygiven.
6. Difference between the current 'opt in' system and the new 'softopt out' system