Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has demanded a change in the law that would save more lives by allowing state agencies to share information on people who have indicated that they are willing to be organ donors. Nearly 1,000,000 people have indicated on their driving license that they want to be organ donors yet because of the minister’s inaction this information is unavailable to heath care professionals.
Senator Daly was commenting in advance of Organ Donor Week which starts on Tuesday.
He’s calling on the Transport Minister to allow medical professionals access to driving licence information so that they can establish if a driver license holder is an organ donor. The government already allows licence details to be shared with other State bodies.
Senator Daly, who was nominated to the Seanad by the Irish Kidney Association, explained, “There are around 2.6 million driving licence holders in Ireland at the moment. Since 2013, driving licence applicants have been asked if they would they be willing to be an organ donor. However, doctors and medical professionals are currently not allowed to access this information. This means that those involved in the facilitation of organ transplants often miss out on potential donors.
“The Minister for Transport needs to act. It is unacceptable and short sighted not to allow driving license information that could save and transform lives be shared with medical professionals involved in organ donation. The research shows that if a family is informed by a heath care professional that their loved one indicated on a driving license that they wanted to be an organ donor, consent to donate an organ increase to 92%.
“The government allows driving licence details to be shared with other State bodies such as the Courts Service, the Road Safety Authority and the Health and Safety Authority, and most recently Minister Ross allowed access to a private company – E-Flow to assist the management of the M50”.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Robert Troy TD added, “Medical professionals, and the families of people who want to donate their organs, need to be given this information as soon as possible. Delays can cost lives.
“This is another example of Minister Ross’s inaction. This is an important yet simple change, and I feel the government’s laissez faire approach to this issue is not acceptable”.
Senator Daly concluded, “I am calling on Minister Ross to make the simple legislative changes that are needed to streamline and speed up the organ donation process”.