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Tuesday 3 October 2023 Dublin: 14°C
# Irish Kidney Association
'Organ donor cards don't work anymore, we need a new approach'
The IKA wants a registry system to be introduced.

THE IRISH KIDNEY Association has said that the country needs to adopt a new approach to organ donation.

The IKA doesn’t believe an opt-out system is the answer either.

Instead it wants a register to be established so people can log their wishes – be it a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – onto a system.

IKA CEO Mark Murphy told this type of registry would work better than the current donor card process.

“The donor card is 36 years old. There’s no space left for it in people’s wallet. 36 years ago it was the only piece of plastic in your wallet.”

Murphy firmly believes the final say about organ donation should still rest with the family of the deceased. Currently, the wishes of a person’s next of kin overrule whether or not a person carries a donor card.

You must give the family the opportunity to say ‘no’, they have that right … Certain beliefs or religions want to bury the body whole.

Last year, the Oireachtas Health Committee recommended that an opt-out system be set up here.

Murphy said opt-out systems have failed in every country where they have been introduced. He thinks it won’t work here because of a lack of supporting infrastructure around organ transplantation.

He said that in the past the IKA “met with resistance” when urging the Department of Health to introduce an organ donation registry.

A spokesperson for the Department said it is currently developing the heads of a Human Tissue Bill “which will, among other things, establish a legal framework in relation to the donation of organs for transplantation”.

It is envisaged that a system combining an opt-out, along with a requirement for family consent, will be included in the legislative proposals.

Murphy encouraged people to discuss their wishes about organ donation with their families.

Want to become an organ donor? Here’s how:

You can download the app or request a card on the Irish Kidney Foundation’s website.

Alternatively, email; free-text DONOR to 50050; call 1890 543639 or write to: Freepost, Donor House, Irish Kidney Association, Park West, Dublin 12.

‘Helen didn’t get lungs … but we’ll make sure other people get them because of her’

Joe Brolly encourages families to talk openly about organ donation

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