‘Max’s Law’ to turn us all into organ donors clears key stage
A CHANGE in the law which will mean people are automatically considered to be organ donors in the event of their death won Government backing yesterday.
Only those who actively opt out will not have organs taken.
A Private Members Bill proposing the new scheme by Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson passed a significant hurdle in Parliament with its second reading going through unopposed.
And Health Minister Jackie DoylePrice confirmed that it will now have official support.
The Bill, which applies only to England, will now undergo detailed scrutiny by MPs and in the Lords.
It will be known as “Max’s Law” after Max Johnson, a 10-year-old boy who was saved by a heart transplant.
During the debate MPs heard that a grieving father’s decision to allow his nine-year-old daughter’s organs to be used to save four lives should serve as “inspiration” to others.
After Keira Ball, from Barnstable, Devon, died in a road accident last year, her father Joe made the decision to donate, saving the lives of Max, of Winsford, Cheshire, as well as a man, a woman, and another boy.
Tory MP Peter Heaton-Jones, who represents Keira’s family, said: “Keira’s story and Max’s story demonstrate that more organs mean more saved lives.
“I will be thinking of Max and Keira, it is their Bill and it is thanks to the brave decision taken by Keira’s dad on that most difficult of days that four more people have life who otherwise might have not. That to me is the best argument for seeing this Bill reach the statute books.”
Ms Doyle-Price said for the Government: “We are supporting this Bill. We are determined to ensure that we secure more organs available for transplant because we are very concerned that we are losing lives unnecessarily.
“Our best estimates are that this change will secure an additional 100 donors a year, which could lead to the saving of 200 extra lives. We in the Government will be referring to this as Max’s Law, and we will do everything we can to ensure its passage.” At last year’s Conservative Party conference, Prime Minister Theresa May promised Government backing for the scheme.
Around 1,000 people die every year in England while waiting for a transplant.