Health Minister Simon Harris has welcomed a Government decision to publish the general scheme of a bill on an opt-out organ donation scheme.
The Human Tissue Bill will regulate the removal, retention, storage, use and disposal of human tissue from deceased persons.
It will also provide general conditions for the removal, donation and use of organs and tissues from deceased and living persons for the purposes of transplantation - and provide for the opt-out system of consent for organ donation and an associated register.
It also provides for non-directed altruistic kidney donation.
The wide-ranging bill also has provisions on hospital post-mortems, anatomical examination (including medical education and training) and the public display of bodies after death.
Minister Harris said: "I am really pleased to progress this vital piece of legislation which is a key commitment of mine and of the Government.
"In recent years, significant progress has been made by Organ Donation & Transplant Ireland, the three transplant centres at Beaumont Hospital, St Vincent's University Hospital, and Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, and my department to increase the number of transplantations carried out in Ireland".
The further development of organ donation and transplant services is part of the Sláintecare Action Plan.
Senator Fergal Quinn
Minister Harris also acknowledged the contribution made by the late Senator Fergal Quinn to organ donation and transplantation in Ireland.
"The late Senator Fergal Quinn introduced a Private Members Bill, 'Human Body Organs & Human Tissue Bill', in 2008.
"Senator Quinn was a committed advocate for organ donation.
"While it has taken some time, I think that the publication of the Human Tissue (Transplantation, Post-Mortem, Anatomical Examination, and Public Display) Bill and the commencement of drafting work, is a fitting tribute to him at this time."
The general scheme of the bill can be read here