Call to change organ donor law
By David GreenTHE father of a woman who died while waiting for a heart transplant has appealed for the public to support a proposed new law that would require people to “opt out” of organ donation instead of “opting in”.
By David Green
THE father of a woman who died while waiting for a heart transplant has appealed for the public to support a proposed new law that would require people to “opt out” of organ donation instead of “opting in”.
Richard Spurgin's proposal was one of five selected by BBC Radio 4 for a Listeners' Law vote, with Enfield MP Stephen Pound having pledged to promote the winning idea in Parliament.
Under Mr Spurgin's proposal, unless people had formally opted out, their organs would be used by the NHS in the event of death.
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Mr Spurgin's married daughter, Kate Trevarthen, a former Suffolk nanny, died at the of 27 while waiting for a donor heart.
Her death sparked the East Anglian Daily Times to launch a Sign for Life campaign in which readers were invited to sign-up to donate their organs after death to enable others to live.
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Now Mr Spurgin, who lives with his wife, Cathy, in Harleston on the Suffolk-Norfolk border, is hoping EADT readers will support his proposal for a new “opt out” law to top the Radio 4 poll, in which voting ends tomorrow night.
“Changing the law would make a difference to the lives of thousands of people,” he said.
“It would help the recipients of the organs, the NHS and the donors' families which would have the memory that their loved ones had provided the gift of life to other people.”
Organs taken from the body of Mr Spurgin's daughter, who suffered from cardiomyopathy, helped save or enhance the lives of more than 50 people.
She signed up to become an organ donor several years before her death and her parents are proud that their daughter was able to help so many people.
Mr Spurgin was among 10,000 Radio 4 listeners who had put forward ideas for new legislation and was delighted that his proposal had been selected for the voting shortlist.
Other Listeners' Law proposals include banning smoking in all workplaces, bars and restaurants and making voting in General Elections compulsory.
Under the remaining two ideas all Christmas advertising and municipal street decorations would be banned before December 1 and homeowners would by able to use “any means” to defend their homes from intruders.
Votes for Mr Spurgin's Listeners' Law proposals can be registered online at www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/vote.shtml or by telephone on 09001 114403.