The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has been accused by a woman who underwent a double lung transplant of "denying hope" to those who are waiting for a transplant because of "party politics.".
It follows the Stormont assembly's failure to elect a Speaker and advance a law on organ donation that had stalled.
Being on the transplant waiting list, according to Catherine McCarroll, is a "death sentence.".
The DUP stated that it was collaborating with lawmakers to get the legislation passed in time for spring 2023.
According to the new law, unless they specifically stated otherwise, all adults in Northern Ireland would be regarded as potential organ donors after their deaths.
It is known as Dáith's Law in honor of Dáith Mac Gabhann, a six-year-old boy whose campaign for a heart transplant served as the impetus for the legislative change.
Tuesday's Stormont assembly session was intended to pass Dáith's Law, but it was unsuccessful because no Speaker was chosen, which prevented legislative activity from proceeding.
The DUP had previously declared that as part of its ongoing opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol, it would obstruct the election of a Speaker.
After receiving a pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis in 2018 and developing a serious illness in 2021, Dr. McCarroll was added to the transplant waiting list.
She described it as an "agonizing wait for everyone involved" while speaking to BBC News NI. ".
When you are placed on the transplant list, it truly is a death sentence until you receive the call about an organ, according to Dr. McCarroll. "It's exhausting mentally and physically," he added.
The 31-year-old stated that for families awaiting that phone call, "every day is a struggle.".
According to Dr. McCarroll, people cannot truly understand what it is like until they are in that situation, which is why the DUP shouldn't "play politics with people's lives.".
She claimed that she was speaking out in an effort to raise awareness of organ donation while also pleading with the DUP to reconvene in the assembly.
It is not a political issue, and the DUP is only using this for party politics, in my opinion, she continued.
By declining to support a Speaker on Tuesday, the DUP "made the wrong choice," she continued.
She claimed that passing Dáith's Law for the "good of the population" was a "no brainer.".
She said, "Of course, nothing is going to change overnight, but it is a positive step for those waiting for transplants.".
Eve was born in March 2021, and months later, according to Dr. McCarroll, her health deteriorated and she had trouble breathing.
Prior to her transplant, she was completely bed-bound and "ended up on oxygen 24/7.".
She was transported by air to Newcastle, England's Freeman Hospital in January 2022, where she underwent surgery and a double lung transplant while being kept alive by a machine.
After suffering through a traumatic two months apart from her daughter and husband, she made her way back to Belfast in March 2022.
She is scheduled to start working again in the upcoming weeks.
According to Dr. McCarroll, most politicians are unaware of what it's like to wait for a transplant.
She declared, "Every day is a battle for your life.".
The DUP was contacted by BBC News NI regarding Dr. McCarroll's remarks.
"We are working in the House of Commons to ensure that the organ donor legislation is put in place for spring 2023 as originally planned," the party stated.
"Devolution would be in operation today if the [Northern Ireland] Protocol had been replaced 18 months ago with plans that unionists could support.
The government must make sure the presumed consent legislation is implemented because Parliament is the sovereign body.