My Lords, I should like briefly to express my thanks to the Prime Minister and my right honourable friend the leader of the Opposition, and indeed the leaders of many of the other parties, for their very strong support for this Bill.
Huge credit is owed to my honourable friends Geoffrey Robinson and Dan Jarvis and a cross-group of MPs who helped to see the Bill through the other place. I mention in particular the pioneering work of the late and very much missed Paul Flynn, who laid the early foundations and whose last speech in the other place was in support of the Bill.
In this House, the Minister and her predecessor, the noble Lord, Lord O’Shaughnessy, deserve great credit for their support, and I thank many noble Lords from all round the House, including my noble friend Lady Thornton, for their stalwart support in taking the Bill through. I have benefited from the valuable advice of Marina Pappa in the Bill team in the Minister’s department, the team led by John Forsythe at NHS Blood and Transplant, and Paul Millar in Geoffrey Robinson’s office.
The long and enthusiastic support of Mirror Group Newspapers has also been invaluable, as has that of charities such as Kidney Care UK and the British Heart Foundation, which work tirelessly every day to support patients and their families.
This Bill has been referred to often as Max and Keira’s Bill in honour of a recipient, 10 year-old Max Johnson, who was recognised by the Prime Minister for his immense bravery while waiting for a heart transplant, and the donor, Keira Ball, who tragically died in a road accident. I pay tribute to both of them.
I am convinced that the passing of this Bill will lead to many more organ donations and lives saved while retaining the involvement of the family in what will remain a remarkably altruistic act of giving. I beg to move.