Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Sunday, 13 April 2008 13:26 UK

Organ ban 'wrong' says campaigner

Rachel Leake and her daughter Laura Ashworth
Mrs Leake said her daughter would have wanted to help her

A woman who helped to set up the NHS Organ Donor Register says it was wrong to stop a mother who needs a transplant from using her daughter's kidneys.

Rachel Leake, 39, of Bierley, West Yorkshire, was told that her daughter Laura Ashworth's dying wish to donate her organs could not be honoured.

The 21-year-old's kidneys and liver went instead to three other patients.

Christine Cox, who campaigned for the register, said: "I don't think common sense prevailed on this occasion."

Ms Ashworth, the mother of a two-year-old girl, was on the NHS Organ Donor Register, which records a person's wish to donate organs after death.

She had also told her mother she would be prepared to be a "living donor", but had not begun the formal process.

Despite her personal wish to help her mother the decision was taken to give her organs to others on the UK Transplant Waiting List.

It is a tragedy that in this situation where a tissue match would have worked so well that her daughter's donation has not been allowed to go ahead
Christine Cox, Organ Donor Register founder

Mrs Leake said the regulations should be changed.

"It's an absolutely ridiculous law. Laura's helped three people through this, but Laura would have wanted to help me. To help her mum."

Ms Cox told the BBC on Sunday: "It is my understanding that her daughter actually leaves a child and now Mrs Leake is the carer for the grandchild.

"Now, if Mrs Leake requires a kidney, as far as I am concerned she is at the top of the waiting list.

"It is a tragedy that in this situation where a tissue match would have worked so well that her daughter's donation has not been allowed to go ahead."

Ms Cox campaigned for the donor register to be set up after her brother's heart was donated following his death from a brain tumour in 1989.

"It is my understanding that if you are a living donor then you can nominate next-of-kin as a beneficiary," she said.

"However, in this case the technicality is that her daughter died before they had started the paperwork to let a living donation take place."

"The problem is her daughter may have discussed her wishes with her mother...but the NHS Organ Donor Register and transplant co-ordinators clearly weren't aware and, therefore, they have played it by the book, which I think was wrong."




SEE ALSO
Mother denied daughter's organs
12 Apr 08 |  Bradford

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