YEP Letters: January 19

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Organ donors’ wishes should be paramount

Denise Marsden, Cookridge

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 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! Sprinkle me on No 2 rose bed at Lawnswood, so my spirit can join mum’s, I’m looking forward to sharing more giggles with her!

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Generations lack discipline

B Duffy, by email

Re: your headline, ‘Reclaiming our streets,’ YEP January 15, the terms bolted and stable door spring to mind.

Since the 1970s we have produced two generations of people who have grown up with no discipline at school and very little discipline at home in a large minority of cases. Everybody from young children to loutish adults know their rights but fail to acknowledge their responsibilities.

Since the Police ceased to be a Force and became a Service they have gradually withdrawn a presence on our streets.

They seem to prefer pursuing DJs and pop stars for alleged crimes committed 50 years ago rather than confront the lowlife thugs terrorising our streets by day or night. These thugs are quaking in their boots when they see PCSOs approaching, I’ll bet.

Parliament has not helped by removing any punishment from the legal system. What have the wrongdoers got to be afraid of? Fines which aren’t paid because of benefits, prison where you can do as you please, serve at most half of a laughable sentence and come back out on benefits!

Tony Blair and his 24 hour cafe culture has a lot to answer for. It’s about time the old licensing hours were reintroduced to inject some sanity.

Likewise real punishment into the penal system, we’ve tried the soft approach for 40 years and each year it gets worse.

Don’t even get me started on the state of our education after the intoduction of child centred learning and withdrawal of the cane!

Long delays at station drop off

J Gray, by email

The new Leeds station entrance maybe a bonus to certain commuters from the south of the city, however anyone trying to drop off at the station with a car from 4.30pm to 6pm faces very long delays.

The set up to get into the station off Aire Street is not fit for purpose.

I would suggest you check out just how bad it is any week day. The road just cannot cope with the amount of vehicles using the road at peak time.

Pity the commuters of the new H2 set up, if it comes. Commuters may save five minutes from the south but from Aire Street they lose 15 mins just to get dropped off.

That really needs to be looked at and changed.

As transient as life of mayfly?

J T Crawford, by email

A musician and composer dies. There are few mourners and he is buried in a pauper’s grave.

Over 200 years later his music is still being enjoyed by countless millions every minute of the day all over the world.

Fast forward to the present day and another musician dies.

Tearful mourning by millions worldwide, but I’ll bet that by comparison with the first musician his music and name will prove as transient as the life of a mayfly.

Picture: Robert Viglasky/BBC/PA Wire

YEP Letters: August 17