Last year nearly 400 people died waiting for a transplant, says Candida Moss. ‘Presumed consent’ could have saved their livesI was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in August 1996, when I was 17. Twenty minutes before the diagnosis I was on top of the world: I had just passed my A-levels and was looking forward to a long summer holiday before going up to Oxford. Then my kidney specialist informed me that without treatment I would have renal failure within three months.
Pictures are more powerful than principles. A few weeks ago, newspapers published photographs of a 12-week-old male foetus. It was not a blob of tissue but a proto-human. Yet for a further 12 weeks after the pictures were taken it would have been legal to kill this pre-baby in the womb. Other stories appeared. A child had been born at 23 weeks. That is within the legal limit for abortions. It had lived.
It is curious sometimes how life comes full circle. Exactly a year ago I was sitting in an office at the BBC, listening to government ministers denying all wrongdoing. As I write this, I am sitting in an office at the BBC, waiting to be interviewed, listening to government ministers denying all wrongdoing. Their task is rather harder than it was before.
Lord Butler’s committee has pronounced on the great question — did the government mislead us all over the reasons for war? To the vast majority of the public, this is an issue about as opaque and mysterious as the religion of the Pope or the sanitary habits of bears in woods; but successive official inquiries, and a stubborn minority of the media, have been unable to bring themselves to say that Tony Blair committed deceit.