Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Father's Plea for Donor Resources

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Father's Plea for Donor Resources

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Thomson

A father whose daughter's organs went to waste because she wasn't carrying a donor card at the time of her death last night called on the Government to invest greater resources in raising awareness for organ donation.

Richard Cansdale, of The Bakers Crest, Morpeth, Northumberland, spoke after a Parliamentary Bill to create an automatic presumption in favour of organ donation was overthrown in the commons.

Mr Cansdale lost his 22-year-old daughter Zoe in a motorcycle accident in 1998 but her organs could not be used to save lives because her parents could not be contacted in time.

Since then, along with his wife Sue, Richard has been instrumental in championing The Journal's Legacy of Life campaign, which was launched in 1998 to push for presumed consent ( meaning that the organs of anyone who dies can be used for transplant unless they signed an opt-out register.

Speaking after the Government used its majority to defeat a Private Members Bill in favour of presumed consent, Mr Cansdale said that the decision did not come as a shock.

He said: "The defeat does not come as a total surprise. I am disappointed but it is tempered by a realistic attitude.

"Presumed consent is a way forward but it is not the be all and end all.

"The logic behind it is that the vast majority of people are willing donors but just haven't got round to signing up.

"If presumed consent had been the policy when Zoe died numerous lives could have been saved by her organs.

"Zoe was a fit and healthy 22-year-old and had never been ill in her life.

"She always said that if anything were to happen to her she wanted her spare parts to help someone else but this wasn't possible because of bureaucracy and delay.

"There is a concern that the element of compulsion in presumed consent puts pressure on people and could be counter-productive but it is just one of several ways forward.

"My biggest concern is to make people fully aware of the gift of organ donation so that they have the choice to make their wishes clear to their nearest and dearest one way or the other. …

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