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Service Personnel (Organ Transplant Operations)

Volume 886: debated on Tuesday 11 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what rules his Department applies to the conditions under which organs, such as kidneys, from Service men, who die in the course of duty, are donated to hospitals for use in transplant operations.

The basic rule is that the donor must during life have expressed willingness to donate the organ concerned.

Service doctors will not normally be involved in such removal because, as my hon. Friend knows, the National Health Service regional transplant team has responsibility. This is entirely a voluntary matter, but we have taken all possible steps to make clear to Service people the real advantages to be gained.

I am not against this idea, but will the Minister give his attention to a much more urgent problem affecting Service men who lose their lives—namely, obtaining proper and generous compensation for their families?

I think that that is a totally different question, but the answer is "Yes".