THEORIES around the afterlife are probably too deep for me to get into here.

But one practical question remains in my mind – do you need your organs after your die?

You might be in heaven, the ‘afterlife’, reincarnated into a new life, or staring into oblivion in a dark nothingness - whatever you believe in, ask yourself, do you still need the organs of your mortal body?

Despite the terrifying thought of death, the politicians elected to represent our views are currently discussing this matter.

Proposals to change the law would see everyone enlisted to donate their organs after they die, unless they ‘opt out’.

Ministers confirmed they would support a Private Member’s Bill tabled by Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson to introduce presumed consent in England, following the move to an opt-out system in Wales.

Somerset County Gazette:

Jackie Doyle-Price.

Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price also confirmed that the Government would name the changes “Max’s Law” after Max Johnson, a 10-year-old boy who was saved by a heart transplant.

The bill was given an unopposed second reading by MPs and will now undergo further scrutiny in Parliament.

“We are supporting this bill, we are determined to ensure that we secure more organs available for transplant, because we are very concerned that we are losing lives unnecessarily,” said Ms Doyle-Price.

“At this stage it’s rather too early to draw any conclusions about the number of organs that the change in Wales has secured, but we have seen an increase in consent and opting on to the register.

“Our best estimates are that this change will secure an additional 100 donors a year, which could lead to the saving of 200 extra lives.

“On the basis that we could save 200 lives, we will wholeheartedly support this Bill.”

Somerset County Gazette:

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged MPs during the debate to support the bill, while Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was also present on the Government’s front bench during Ms Doyle-Price’s closing remarks.

Ms Doyle-Price added: “We in the Government will be referring to this as Max’s Law, and we will do everything we can to ensure its passage.”

At last year’s Conservative Party conference, Prime Minister Theresa May indicated that the Government would look to move to an opt-out system in organ donation.

MPs heard that around 1,000 people die every year while waiting for a transplant and England had some of the lowest rates of consent for organ donation in western Europe.

The Labour MP’s Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill will now go through further stages in the House of Commons and House of Lords before it can reach Royal Assent and become law.

Mother of Somerset teenager, Jemima Layzell, has had some conflicting emotions on the matter.

Somerset County Gazette:

CHARITY BALL: Harvey and Sophy Layzell at an awareness event with Lisa and Doug Johns

The Jemima Layzell Trust was set up by parents Sophy and Harvey Layzell after their daughter, Jemima, 13, passed away in March 2012 after collapsing and dying of an aneurysm four days later.

Sophy Layzell continues to raise awareness of and support for organ donation after her daughter’s organs were used to save eight people’s lives.

Mrs Layzell said: “Since ‘opt out’ has been on the agenda I have had many conflicting emotions, it’s a really huge and complicated subject.

“Initially I was against the move, not because I am against organ donation, obviously I am very pro, but because I worried that the public weren’t ready and that the backlash could be more negative than positive.

“People are suspicious of change and it needs to be gradual with emphasis on clear and consistent education and gentle encouragement.

“Discussion and conversation is key and I am glad with what the opt out debate has initiated, but there is still a long way to go as many of the polls indicate that the majority would now opt out.”

Mrs Layzell said that donating an organ is like giving the gift of life, and knowing Jemima willingly gave her organs helped her through her mourning.

If organ donation was automatic, would it be such a special gift, she wondered.

Somerset County Gazette:

Jemima Layzell, who has saved eight lives with her organs. 

“There is also the argument that the donation, should be just that, a donation, a gift, and this is vastly important to the recovery of the recipient ,” She added.

“Ellie Lacey, a liver recipient, has said on her blog that it makes her feel ‘humbled’ because it was a gift, the ultimate gift, given willingly and freely.

“If it is important for the recipient’s state of mind then this is something we must not discount.

“As Jemima’s mum, I also feel that the nature of giving is what makes the donation so special and as a grieving mum this is what has helped carry me through her loss.

“If it had been a routine procedure would I have felt that Jemima’s gift was less special?

“It is going to take time and effort to increase the organ donation rate in the UK, and while the opt out system is the perfect catalyst for conversation, it is only just the beginning.

“Our job is to now keep highlighting the wonderful positive side of organ donation so that more people choose to donate.

“We need to keep telling powerful stories that others can relate to, so that it becomes a personal rather than theoretical based decision.”