Page 20 - Support Magazine Autumn 2017
P. 20



                 The IKA is supportive of any initiative that   Belgium, often cited as one of the ‘more successful’
               improves the level of public knowledge and     countries in relation to organ donation and
               understanding of organ donation for            transplantation, actually invests €4 million every year in
               transplantation and, therefore, allows the public  educating the public and healthcare personnel about
               to make an informed decision. It has been found  organ donation.
               worldwide in modern Christian democracy that,    We recently conducted a survey of the public
               when asked, the public is overwhelmingly       surrounding organ donation.
               supportive of the concept of organ donation but  This one minute survey was conducted in two parts. The
               they do not know much about how the process    overall total of people surveyed was 1,093; divided 36.5%
               works and this can influence decision-making   at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore
               when it comes to actually making a decision.   19th-21st September and the second part online 63.5%
                 Rather that facing a public who are against  (694) promoted mainly by the IKA’s Facebook account
               organ donation we are facing a public who need  between 22nd September and 5th October.
               to better understand how the process works and   It was expected that the IKA Facebook people surveyed
               how it transforms lives. Investment in continuous  would have a bias towards organ donation and the public
               public education will lead to more people actively  surveyed at the Ploughing would show up this bias. The
               embracing the concept and a lower rate of      Ploughing participants were certainly rural people versus a
               refusal when families are asked for consent at an  much higher proportion of people from Dublin in the
               emotionally fraught time.                      online survey.


               There are two absolute conclusions which can be made from this survey. The vast majority favour a national yes/no
               Registry about organ donation and the vast majority are willing organ donors.

                  The IKA is always grateful when the Ministry of Health highlights the need for more organ donation,
                championing for the people waiting on the various transplant pools.
                  The IKA believe that the Human Tissue Bill is long overdue and is late in reflecting the need for change
                following the retention of children’s organs which became public in the turn of the century. Ironically, it is the
                presumption of consent in the current legislation that lead to the need for change to informed consent for
                retention of organs at post-mortem examinations.
                  The IKA believe the introduction of soft ‘opt-out’ legislation, to improve the rates of organ donation, should
                not be considered at this point in time and three key changes to our infrastructure on organ donation need to
                be firmly in place before the consent policy is reconsidered.

                 The Audit of Potential Organ Donors
                 The deployment of Specialist Nurses for Organ Donation in each hospital where organ donation is possible.
                 National Organ Donation (yes/no) Registry.

                Signed on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Irish Kidney Association CLG.

                Mark Murphy
                Chief Executive
                Monday 9th October 2017

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