I wish to present a petition. I fully support the aspirations of the petitioners, who are predominantly from the Coventry area. About 5,500 citizens have signed the petition. This test of public opinion reflects the findings of annual surveys carried out by the British Kidney Patients Association, which show that the majority of British adults —72 per cent.—are in favour of legislation of the sort that is widely accepted in Europe. It applies in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. There is a crying need for similar legislation in Britain. To those who might object, I suggest that they see themselves not as donors but as recipients. At some time any of us could be in need of a transplant.
Wherefore your petitioners pray that your honourable House, in the circumstances, will take immediate steps to enact legislation that will protect patients' rights and permit surgeons to remove organs for transplantation in conditions specified by the Act of Parliament, except where the central information and records unit of the Department of Health indicates that an individual has clearly declared otherwise.
Your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.
To lie upon the Table