Parties must not threaten life-saving legislation, says Bradshaw

Health Paula Bradshaw

No party should threaten to delay life-saving legislation by risking the future of the institutions, Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said, as the Organ and Tissue Donation Bill passed its second stage in the Assembly.

A majority of MLAs backed the latest stage of the legislation, which will see organ donation rules here change to people becoming automatic organ donors unless they opt out, once it completes its passage.

“Northern Ireland lags behind the rest of the UK in terms of the donation of life-saving organs, and one major reason for that is its legislation also lags behind because we had no mechanism to pass legislation for three years and then it was blocked in the Executive,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“This is literally life-saving legislation, and now it comes under threat from those who would once again deprive us of the ability to pass such legislation on the basis of narrow sectional interests which should be resolved through open and robust democratic debate.

“Those who have campaigned so long for an ‘opt-out’ system deserve far better than partisan political games. We need legislators prepared to get on with the job and pass laws such as these in everyone’s interests, to save lives here and elsewhere.”