Jeremy Corbyn tells MPs to back opt-out organ donation bill

Henrietta Strickland
February 23, 2018

A government-supported private member's bill will introduce an opt-out law for organ transplants, replacing the current rules which mean people must opt-in if they want their organs used for transplants when they die.

Mr Robinson told MPs that the United Kingdom had some of the lowest rates of consent in Western Europe and while levels of organ donation were considerably higher than a decade ago, he was anxious a "certain inertia" had set in.

The government has backed plans for the new system which will mean people have to opt out of being organ donors. However, early evidence suggests the reform "has had no effect on the number of organs available", John Humphrys wrote for YouGov previous year.

Today MPs again debated a bill to change legislation to presume consent for organ donation upon death.

Mr Robinson, the MP for Coventry North West, said: 'The Prime Minister really early on said to me that she had a personal interest and gave the Bill her personal support.

An opt-out system "would not only help to deliver an increase in organs available for donation, but also help to shift attitudes about organ donation", Robinson writes in The Times. A recent survey by the British Heart Foundation found that 74% were in favour of an opt-out system. "I believe this House would agree with me that that just simply isn't good enough". Labour MP Eleanor Smith said that there needed to be more "willingness" to discuss donation in the BAME community.

Tim Farron speaks in Parliament
Jeremy Corbyn tells MPs to back opt-out organ donation bill

He added: 'I don't pretend my Bill is a panacea.but I think it will provide a new impetus to the increase in organ donors that we know this country urgently needs'.

Speaking to Mr Robinson, she said: "I'm very grateful to him for bringing this Bill and to confirm that the Government will give its wholehearted support".

Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price confirmed that the Government would name the changes "Max's Law" after Max Johnson, a 10-year-old boy who was saved by a heart transplant.

A number of MPs said on Twitter that they would be giving the Bill their support.

Labour's Paul Flynn said: "People are living in Wales who would've died before the law was passed, and people are dying unnecessarily in England".

The bill will now go to committee stage, where detailed scrutiny of the bill will take place.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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