Invitation to Submit Views on Consent for Organ Donation

The following questions may be of assistance in formulating views or prompting responses. Please refer to the document on Consent Options for further details on each option.

1. Is there a requirement to change the current consent system in Ireland?

2. Do you have any ethical or moral issues with any of the consent models described?

3. There are many variations on each consent model. Which one do you favour, and why?

4. Do you feel strongly in favour of your preferred option on principle or is your support based on the potential effectiveness of the preferred option in increasing organ donation rates?

5. Do you foresee any practical problems with implementing any of the models?

6. Under a new statutory system:


a. how would people opt-in or opt out?
b. how would children and vulnerable groups be treate?
c. how would non-residents be treated?
d. how would people whose first language is neither Irish nor English be catered for, or people who are illiterate?
e. how would groups with religious or cultural objections be accommodated?
f. should people be able to withhold consent for some organs or tissues, but consent to donation of others?
g. how should the information on consent be recorded, and in what form?
h. how would transplant staff access the consent status of potential donor when time is of the essence?
i. what would be the impact on resources of the preferred consent model?

7.What would be the advantages and disadvantages of a change to an opt-out system? How might the disadvantages be overcome?

8.What is the potential for increasing donation levels while retaining the current opt-in system? What improvements are needed to the current system in order to make it more effective?

9.Will the identification and management of potential organ donors affect patient care and hospital practice under a system of presumed consent? Will presumed consent make things easier or more difficult for staff, potential donors and their families?

10.Are there any alternatives to the opt-in and opt-out models of consent? What would the advantages of such systems be?

11.What are the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating “mandated choice” with an opt-in system?

12.How would “mandated choice” work in practice? What would be the most effective methods of administering a “mandated choice” system to ensure that it would be


(a) fair and
(b) achieve maximum coverage?

13. What are the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating “required request” with an opt-in system?

14. Will the identification and management of potential organ donors under a “required request” system affect patient care and hospital practice? Will presumed consent make things easier or more difficult for staff, potential donors and their families?

15. If the current system is changed to one of presumed consent, should some groups be given the option of remaining outside the new system, if for example they have religious or cultural problems with the change? What practical problems would this present and how could these be addressed?

16. Do you have any other proposals for improving donation consent rates?