MPs agree to change organ donation law to save hundreds of lives a year

MPs have agreed to change organ donation law to save hundreds of lives a year.

The proposed move which was discussed in the House of Commons this morning comes after a two-year campaign by the Daily Mirror to change the organ donor system.

MPs made a series of passionate pleas in favour of the so-called "deemed consent" legislation – would make people automatic organ donors, unless they actively chose not to participate in the system.

Tory MP Peter Heaton-Jones, said the decision by a grieving father’s to allow his nine-year-old daughter’s organs to be used to save four lives should serve as ab "inspiration" to others.

After Keira Ball died in a road accident last year, her father Joe made the decision to donate – saving the lives of a man, woman, boy and 10-year-old Max Johnson who had been in desperate need of a new heart.

Tory MP Peter Heaton-Jones, who represents Keira’s family, said the case demonstrated how "more organs means more saved lives".

He said: "This could be an inspiration to ensure that they too sign up for organ donation and will give them strength if they have to face similar circumstances.

he added: "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."

Mr Robinson also spoke about Emma Johnson, whose son Max was saved by a heart transplant and has been the focus of our campaign.

"Max is still doing well now. Last September he went back to school part-time and they’re hoping next year that he’ll be back at school full-time," said Mr Robinson.

"Even more pleasing on the Max story is something I didn’t know, and was brought to my attention by the member for North Devon, who represents the donor family, the Ball family, whose daughter Keira was killed in a terrible car crash, the most unfortunate incident, who gave her heart.

"Max’s mum, Mrs Johnson, was saying how much she looked forward to meeting the family. She said ‘I wonder what they’ll feel when they put their hand on Max’s heart and feel their daughter’s heart still beating there’."

One MP showed how easy it is to sign up to the organ donation register by signing up on his phone while in the House of Commons chamber.

Luke Pollard said on Twitter: "I signed up to the organ donor register when I was 18 but was a bit squeamish about donating my eyes.

"Today I went online and signed up to donate all my organs after my death. Until the opt out system kicks in you still need to sign up -it takes just two minutes."

Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price has confirmed that the Government will support legislation that will mean people have to opt out of being organ donors.

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."

Ms Doyle-Price added that the Government would be referring to the changes as Max’s Law, after nine-year-old Max Johnson, who benefited from a heart transplant.


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