Saturday, January 19, 2008

Organ Donation

Last weekend the Prime Minister attempted to launch a debate on whether organ donation should be compulsory, unless people opt-out. This would be a change from the current situation where organ's can only be taken from the dead when they and their families have said that they are happy for this to happen. I do not believe this change would be a good thing to see dead bodies without consent.

Therefore some of my colleagues in the Barnet Conservative Counci group have written to the Prime Minister to express our concern. The letter is below.

Dear Prime Minister
We are writing to express our deep concern over the support you have expressed for "presumed consent" to organ donation on death, and for the system of "opting out" of donating rather than "opting in".
We are well aware of the need for an increase of organs for transplant, to enhance medical provision and the health service in general. It is of course the Government’s prerogative, if it wishes, to intensify its publicity machinery with a view to encouraging more people to become donors and carry the appropriate cards. However, the decision to donate should at the end of the day be entirely a matter of individual conscience, and we consider it quite iniquitous to envisage parts of people’s bodies being lawfully removed after death without their clear and positive prior consent.
As you are aware there are also many moral, faith and humanitarian aspects to this issue which affect and concern vast numbers of people, from a wide range of communities. Many of those views have already been expressed very forcefully in response to your opinions in the Sunday Telegraph. With respect, the change you are advocating could cause immense harm to religious freedom and community cohesion in this country – a result that no right-thinking person would desire.
We urge you will reconsider your position and would appreciate an acknowledgement of this letter.
Yours sincerely,

Cllr. Dean Cohen
Cllr. Melvin Cohen
Cllr. Mike Freer
Cllr. Brian Gordon
Cllr. Joan Scannell
Cllr Andreas Tambourides
Cllr Richard Weider

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