My body belongs to me, not the government, nor the NHS. I carry a donor card. I have made a free choice that in the event of any of my body parts being useful to someone else in the event of my death, someone else is welcome to them. I made an active choice. Gordon Brown is now proposing that there should be presumed consent and that people would have to opt out if they didn't want their organs used. If this is allowed to go through it will set a very dangerous precedent and it will be a further diminution of the freedom of the individual to make an informed choice.
Andrew Lansley made some good points this morning when he said: "“Only four years ago, Gordon Brown and Alan Johnson voted against assumed consent in organ donations on the basis that there was no public support, they said that there were better ways of increasing donations and that the State should not determine what happens to people’s bodies after death. Parliament concluded that to take organs without consent was wrong. It is neither right nor necessary for us to change that view".
John Reid, when he was Health Secretary said: "The answer is simple. It is because the decision about one's own body should be for the conscience of individual citizens. It is not for this Parliament, by free vote or otherwise, to impose on individuals a requisition of their bodies after death for the use of the state. That is why there is no free vote. We are giving the freedom of conscience to the people of this country, and we are not prepared to work on the assumption that Parliament should dictate to them that their bodies belong to the state after death.(Hansard, 28 June 2004: Col 77)."
Amazing how a government can do a complete U Turn like this isn't it? If I were a cynic, I might wonder if the whole thing is a charade to take the heat off Peter Hain.
If you'd like to voiluntarily register to donate organs after your death you can do so HERE.