Readers’ letters - January 21

Put donors’ wishes first

In light of the recent controversy about organ donations and who has the power to refuse their use, of course one can only have sympathy for the grieving family involved and regret that they feel that they have to make any decision at the height of their grief. But obviously time is of an essence before an organ’s viability will be rendered useless.

But if the deceased has gone through the motions beforehand, surely their wishes should be paramount? I have some simple questions for the people who want to override them.

1: Did you love the deceased? 2: Did the body (and obviously its contents) belong to that person? I am assuming that the answer to both is “yes”, so why would you countermand their request? I have read that, hundreds or even thousands of years ago when someone died, more importance was placed on their soul/spirit, rather than the body, which I would imagine was disposed of in some (then) appropriate way (with or without ceremony).

Today, of course, thanks mostly to the Victorians’ pre-occupation with the rituals of death, the body takes centre stage – over the essence of the deceased, which seems to have been somewhat ignored.

3: How many of those intact bodies are actually buried, and how many subsequently cremated?

When my beloved mother died, none of her organs could be used, but she always said it was all right just to cremate her and throw her onto some flower bed somewhere, so she could be of some final use as fertiliser! (She always remembered the bitterly cold February day in 1945, when my dad was lowered into the ground, and regretted that cremation hadn’t yet become popular).

Perhaps the way of organising of these donations should be reconsidered, and the donor’s request be entered into their Last Will and Testament, surely then, in law, the deceased’s wishes could never be denied.

Personally, I am on the list of organ donors, and hoping that at least some of me can be recycled in due course!

Denise Marsden

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We need a new system

Despite the floods, the Government pours huge amounts of taxpayers’ money into HS2. Adding insult to injury they cosy up to China for investment. It is time to take stock and look at the real basic priorities for the whole population. The complete political system needs an overhaul to get rid of governments which have the sole aim of staying in power.

We need proportional representation and with it a legal requirement for the whole of the eligible population to vote (as in Australia). This would give us a balanced set of policies across the board. It seems to work well enough in Ireland and Denmark where members of my family live and are happy.

John Seymour via email

China wins

More steel job losses are announced and the reason given is cheap Chinese steel dumping in Europe. Can someone please explain why cheap Chinese steel is being allowed to be dumped in the EU?

We are told if we leave the EU the ‘world will end’, it certainly isn’t ending for non-EU member China who doesn’t seem fazed one iota by not being in the EU.

There don’t seem to be any safeguards by being in this ‘corrupt club’ called the EU.

Terry Palmer

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