Sinéad McLaughlin says Dáithí's Law will save lives and boost donor lists

Dáithí MacGabhann with his father MáirtínDáithí MacGabhann with his father Máirtín
Dáithí MacGabhann with his father Máirtín
SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin has welcomed the passing of Dáithí’s Law in the Assembly on Tuesday.

The legislation will see deemed or presumed permission of organ donation from anyone who hasn’t explicitly opted out.

It comes following a campaign from the family of five-year-old Belfast boy Dáithí MacGabhann who is currently awaiting a heart transplant.

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The Foyle MLA said: “I’m delighted to see this legislation finally pass in the Assembly today after a long campaign from the family of Dáithí MacGabhann and other people who have been affected by the outdated law around organ donation in the North. They have campaigned tirelessly for a number of years and when obstacles arose they were not deterred. All of their hard work has now paid off.

“This legislation has the potential to be life-saving and life-changing for hundreds of people here who are stuck on transplant waiting lists now and in the years to come."

Ms. McLaughlin said she accepted there are sensitivities around the issue and some people may not wish to donate their organs. However, many people simply don’t get around to opting in to donate, even though they have no objection, she said.

"Now their organs will be able to go to help people that really need them, giving the gift of life. At a time when many of the public may find themselves questioning the validity of our institutions due to the actions of some parties, I am proud to have been part of passing this legislation today.

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"This shows what can be achieved in this Assembly when people work together, real change that will impact the lives of people right across the North. Unfortunately we are distracted from this kind of work all too often by those only interested in selfishly protecting their own interests, rather than serving people here.”