Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson has thanked the ‘hundreds-upon-hundreds’ of people and organisations who took the time to respond to her organ donation consultation.
The Upper Bann MLA mounted a high-profile campaign over the summer to consult with the public on her Private Members Bill to change local organ donation laws to a new ‘opt-out’system.
Mrs Dobson said:
“The response of the public has been truly overwhelming. I have begun the process of carefully reading through each of the responses which have been submitted through the internet survey as well as in writing.
“Each and every response is important because ultimately the views of the public will help to shape the Bill as it progresses through Stormont.
“At the consultation launch back in June I met up with Grace McCullough from outside Lurgan and Walter Kerr from Waringstown who are both founders of NI Kidney Research.
“Grace brought a tear to my eye when she told me that I was making history that day and that Walter’s late wife Josie, who did so much for organ donation, would be extremely proud, describing the Bill as one of the most significant pieces of legislation the Assembly could ever pass.
“During the summer months I held a series of meetings with various local organisations and church leaders to explain the proposal and to answer their questions. I was delighted at how constructive these meeting were and welcome further meetings with anyone who wishes to discuss the Bill as it progresses.
“For the moment I will be compiling a report on the results of the consultation and this will be made available within the next few weeks.
“I would like to again thank all those who took part and those who helped to promote the consultation, especially the members of the NI Kidney Patients Association and NI Kidney Research Fund and those who promoted the online link on Twitter and Facebook.
“Your hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated and has helped to ensure that views of the public will be fully reflected in the results.”