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Cyprus Health

People could sign up as organ donors when getting driver’s licence

Parties are discussing a proposal to ask people to say whether they want to be organ donors when they apply for their driver’s licence, MPs said on Thursday.

MPs said it was part of the effort to develop a culture of posthumous organ donations, which was at a very low level at present.

The proposal involves giving people who apply for a driver’s licence, a statement to sign voluntarily if they want to be organ donors.

House health committee chairman Costas Constantinou said it was important to push the proposal through because Cyprus was close to the bottom in posthumous organ donors.

“In America, Britain, Ireland, and other developed countries, this law is there and driver’s licence applicants are given the right to express their desire to become posthumous donors,” Constantinou said.

He said it was important to have such a right because there were many Cypriots waiting for a transplant “and it was a shame losing organs when there are people who are suffering and waiting.”

Constantinou stressed that a person will not be forced to sign up.

Diko MP Giorgos Prokopiou emphasised the need for more donors but his Solidarity Movement colleague Giorgos Papadopoulos expressed disagreement with the process.

“That we need donors is a fact,” Papadopoulos said. But the proposal forces the applicant to provide an answer, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ “and is not free not to respond at all or ask to state his wish later,” something the party could not accept.

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