In giving her support for legislation which would permit organ donation unless the individual had chosen to opt-out of the system, the Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan, MP for Chesham & Amersham, admitted she had changed her mind from her previous viewpoint.
Speaking during the committee stage of the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill, in the House of Commons on Wednesday 12 September, Dame Cheryl said that she is a convert to the proposal.
“ Originally, when I was Secretary of State for Wales, I was not convinced that an opt-out system would be beneficial. I have changed my mind; when the facts change, one should, as a politician, change one’s mind.”
Dame Cheryl said that one of the factors in her decision was involvement with a family “where an organ will be needed to save a young man’s life. There is nothing more powerful that having that presented to one as a politician.”
The MP said that the mathematical odds need to change so that people in need of a transplant can have the chance to benefit from organ donation. By moving to an opt out system these odds should be improved.
“ We will also improve those odds by creating a culture in which organ donation is spoken about, not in hushed tones or with accompanying difficulty, so that it becomes part of the common parlance,” said Dame Cheryl Gillan