Eastwood raises people in Derry waiting 8 years to see consultant as he backs Dáithí’s Law provisions

Colum Eastwood told MPs he knows of people in the Western Trust who ‘are waiting eight years’ to see a consultant and described it as a situation that can ‘no longer stand’ as he backed the progression of ‘Dáithí’s Law’ organ donor provisions at Westminster.
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The SDLP leader was speaking as legislation to allow the implementation of the provisions of ‘Dáithí’s Law’ was being progressed in the British House of Commons on Wednesday.

“In the Western Trust some people are waiting for eight years to see a consultant and that situation can no longer stand. We need a government as soon as possible to deal with that crisis,” he said.

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The Foyle MP was speaking as the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill was being read at Westminster.

Dáithí MacGabhann and his father MáirtínDáithí MacGabhann and his father Máirtín
Dáithí MacGabhann and his father Máirtín

A year ago the Stormont Assembly agreed legislation to make the organ donor list in the north an opt-out register following a campaign by six-year-old Dáithí MacGabhann from West Belfast who is waiting for a heart transplant.

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However, the boycott of the Stormont Assembly by the DUP has meant MLAs have been unable to enact secondary legislation to give effect to the provisions of the Organ and Tissue Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill that was passed in February 2022.

The British Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris has agreed to make provision within the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill for these provisions to be brought into effect under section 3(9A) of the Human Tissue Act 2004.

Dáithí has been waiting for a heart transplant for the past five years.