Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Thursday, 26 November 2009

Call to put organ donor register in polling stations

Harriet Harman
Harriet Harman said donor cards in polling stations would be 'sensible'

The government is to investigate giving people the option to register as organ donors when they vote in elections.

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman said it would be "sensible" if donation cards were in polling stations and she would canvass the justice secretary.

In the Commons, MP Geraldine Smith brought up the case of a 10-year-old boy, whose organs saved the lives of five people after he died in a crash.

His father said if donors could sign up at elections it would be "beneficial".

'Sensible suggestion'

George Higginson died after he was knocked from his bike by a Toyota in Overton, Lancashire.

His wish to be a donor was met by his family and six of his organs were harvested.

George Higginson
George believed that everyone should want to be a donor

Ms Smith, Labour MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, said the boy's father Jonathan thought elections - and particularly the general election - would provide a good opportunity for people to register as organ donors.

"George's family feel strongly that some good has come out of their boy's death and want to do as much as possible to encourage people to become organ donors.

"At the elections there is a captive audience - about 60% of the population vote - so what better opportunity for people to register if they want to," she said.

"It is a very simple suggestion, but a very good one," she added.

During questions on future business, Ms Harman told MPs it was "incredibly generous" for families to agree to organ donation when a child dies.

"You make a very sensible suggestion that this should be available in polling stations," she said.

"I will talk to the justice secretary to see whether or not cards for signing up for organ donation could be available in polling stations."



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