Cork couple seek publication of bill dealing with disposal of baby organs

Senator Lombard previously brought the matter before the Minister for Health in the Seanad last October.
Cork couple seek publication of bill dealing with disposal of baby organs

Senator Lombard previously brought the matter before the Minister for Health in the Seanad last October. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

A CORK couple are calling for the publication of a human tissue bill after their baby’s organs were incinerated abroad without prior consent.

Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard is urging the public to get behind a petition on behalf of Laura and Fintan Kelleher from Macroom as they fight for the introduction of the bill that will regulate the removal, retention, storage, use and disposal of human tissue from deceased persons. 

The bill would also for the provision of an opt-out organ donation consent system and an associated register.

Senator Lombard previously brought the matter before the Minister for Health in the Seanad last October.

Laura and Fintan were one of 18 families attending Cork University Maternity Hospital whose babies’ organs were incinerated in Belgium. 

This occurred without their consent or knowledge and has since sparked an ongoing discussion around the need to publish legislation to protect families in the future.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly assured that the Bill would be published by the end of the Oireachtas term after previously being pressed by Senator Lombard in the Seanad.

However, Senator Lombard had expressed disappointment and frustration at the time due to delays in the process.

“To say I’m disappointed is an understatement,” he told the minister. 

“I think it's nearly verbatim, word for word, what I heard from the Minister eleven months ago on this issue. On that occasion, I was told it was going to be published before the end of 2021. Now we’re saying it’s going to be done towards the end of this Oireachtas term.

“The last twelve months have come and gone. These parents haven’t any security when it comes to the legislation that’s been promised.” 

 To access the petition online visit change.org/p/calling-on

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