Wednesday, 23 March 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
85. Ms O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the basis of her decision to close down the Dunne inquiry into the retention of organs of deceased children; her proposals for the completion of the work; if an application for additional resources for the inquiry had been received from the chairman; the Government’s response to this; the date on which she expects the final report to be published; if it is intended to introduce legislation to regulate organ retention and transplants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9415/05]
Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children (Ms Harney): On 1 September 2004 the Government decided that the post mortem inquiry should furnish its final report not later than the 31 March 2005 and that the inquiry would then cease to exist. The chairman of the inquiry has been so advised and I expect to have her final report on or before that date. The chairman had sought approval to appoint additional legal staff to the inquiry team, but approval was not given.
The European Commission is currently considering the question of a directive in respect of organ transplantation, including the issue of consent, and proposes to conduct a thorough scientific evaluation of the situation. It will present a report on its analysis to the Council of the European Union as soon as possible. It is hoped that this will provide the framework for the development of legislation in this area.
In the meantime, it is intended to review organ donation, procurement and utilisation policy in Ireland. This work will inform Ireland’s contribution to the discussions in relation to the proposed directive on organs.
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