Daily Express

‘Max’s Law’ to turn us all into or­gan donors clears key stage

- By David Mad­dox Po­lit­i­cal Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

 ??  ?? Keira Ball, nine, Pe­ter Heaton-Jones who hailed the change in law and the cur­rent donor card
Keira Ball, nine, Pe­ter Heaton-Jones who hailed the change in law and the cur­rent donor card
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