Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Opt-Out By Leonard Goggin

Mr Edward Clavell is a respected organ transplant surgeon and major advocate for the change in the organ donation laws recently passed by parliament. The opt-out law, or has it became known, the Clavell Law. He is the owner of the Clavell House Institute a privately run hospital specialising in organ replacement operations. The original manor house built by the Elizabethan Court Physician, Sir James Clavell in 1585, still stands and has changed little over the years, with the exception of the old wine cellar that is now a state of the art operating theatre, although most of the institutes work is done in the modern buildings nearby.

The institute caters mainly for the rich and famous, but Mr Edward Clavell, who bears a remarkable likeness to and is a direct descendent of Sir James, gives up some of his time helping the less fortunate. This is the work done in the cellar.

He had explained this to his latest less fortunate patient, Mr John Cassidy, a mechanic who is in urgent need of a kidney replacement. He also explained that heart transplant was his speciality but he would do this operation for John, who was very grateful.

“Hello, Mr Cassidy, how are you feeling?”

“I am fine doctor, all things considered.”

“Well, it won’t be long now before the waiting is over, and remember it is Mr Clavell not Doctor.”

John, not knowing that surgeons are addressed as Mr not Doctor thought this was very friendly of the him.

“When do you think you will be able to operate Dr, I mean Mr Clavell?”

“Well, John, there is a problem. I have a new patient, Sir Roger Grimes who is very ill and needs a heart transplant as soon as we have one available, but at the moment we are still looking. So to answer your question, if we don’t find a compatible heart today, we will operate on you in the morning. I explained the operation and associated risks, introduced you to Philip who will be assisting and you signed the consent forms, so we are ready and will probably see you in the morning.”

“I can’t imagine how you must feel saving all the lives you do Mr Clavell”

“John, it isn’t that simple, you have to remember that for most lives I save, someone has to die. hearts do not just appear. ”

“But you must be happy now with the new Clavell Law, the organ waiting list will fall significantly for your new patients.”

“Yes, that is true John and a lot less paperwork, now rest, the injection Phillip gave you will help.”

As Mr Clavell left the room, John heard him tell Phillip to make sure Sir Roger was prepped for his transplant immediately after John’s operation. Feeling drowsy as the drug started to take effect, John felt happy having realised that they must have found a heart for Sir Roger and he murmured Clavell’s Law to himself and smiled as he fell asleep.


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