Party leaders appeal to Northern Ireland Secretary of State on delayed organ donation law

Party leaders have called on the Northern Ireland Secretary of State to inact an organ donation law.

It was revealed on Wednesday that proposed organ donation legislation for Northern Ireland - Dáithí's Law - named after the little Belfast boy Dáithí Mac Gabhann who is waiting for a heart transplant, has been delayed because there is no Stormont Executive.

Dáithí's law, which would see an opt-out system put in place, was scheduled to come into effect in the next few months.

Dáithí's father Máirtín is now calling for an urgent meeting with Mr Heaton-Harris.

The Donate4Dáithí Twitter account told the Secretary of State that time was running out.

"@chhcalling, unfortunately we don’t have time for “politics to work”. Time isn’t on our side and we need you to act. You came into politics to make a difference and now you can. We need action and you can do this!," it tweeted.

All party leaders have signed the letter to the Secretary of State asking him to step in to ensure the legislation takes effect.

Letter to the Secretary of State

When asked for a response, the Northern Ireland Office did not commit to taking action on the organ donation legislation. 

It said: "The pressures affecting Northern Ireland health service demonstrate the pressing need to have locally accountable political leaders in place to take fundamental decisions on Northern Ireland's public services.

"The absence of a Northern Ireland Assembly is causing unnecessary delays in the introduction of this life-saving legislation and the Secretary of State urges the Northern Ireland parties to come back to the Executive, get back to work and take these decisions in the interests of the people of Northern Ireland."

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