6 June 2002 Edition

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Commitment to Organs Inquiry recommendations welcomed

Speaking in the Assembly on Wednesday, Sinn Féin Health minister Bairbre de Brún announced wide-ranging measures to rebuild public confidence damaged by revelations that body parts had been stored for medical research in hospitals. After a 14-month probe, de Brún committed her department to implementing in full the recommendations of the Organs Inquiry.

She said she wanted to end the grief and suffering of relatives.

West Belfast Assembly member and Sinn Féin health spokesperson Sue Ramsey welcomed the announcement. "We need to ensure that those responsible are made accountable," she said. "I also welcome the signal from the minister that there will be new legislation to bring in sanctions against individuals and organisation that have breached guidelines.

"I am also deeply concerned at the 11th hour response of Queens University to the Organs Inquiry.

"The issue of organ donation is in some ways a side issue. The key issue is that bereaved parents and relatives are treated sensitively and that we have a proper system for giving informed consent coupled with a rigorous monitoring system to ensure that organs or tissues removed are properly catalogued."

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