WHO LOST 'STOLEN ORGANS' EVIDENCE?; TDs' Fury over Missing Child Death Records

Article excerpt

Byline: RITA O'REILLY

ANGRY TDs last night called on the Minister for Health to explain how documents involved in the "stolen organs" scandal went missing.

Families seeking death certificates for children who died before 1989 have been told the records no longer exist.

And documents for 1993 were destroyed in a flood.

But last night the Minister, Michael Martin, said he did not believe missing records would affect the Organs Tribunal.

The tribunal has been set up after families complained that hospitals were retaining the organs of dead children.

Last night The Parents for Justice Group said it was horrified that many post-mortem certificates had been destroyed or lost.

With just weeks to go before the inquiry begins, the PJG said these documents, which record deaths and names of medical practitioners in hospitals at the time of death, were vital to answering questions about who decided to keep the organs.

Opposition parties are pressing the minister on the matter, in what is quickly becoming a major political issue.

But Mr Martin said documents were destroyed as part of normal procedure, before it was known they would be needed for the upcoming enquiry. He said: "This was apparently traditional practice within the general registry office. …