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Over my Dead Body
Carole Beacham is in her mid-sixties and planning to leave her husband. Before she can do so her daughter, Elvira, and two little granddaughters are involved in a fatal road traffic accident. Then a stranger appears in the Intensive Care Unit claiming to be Elvira’s boyfriend, insisting Elvira wanted to donate her organs. But Carole has her own reasons for rejecting such a possibility: a dark family secret which has been hidden for thirty years. She’s torn in two, but gradually her need to respect Elvira’s wishes overcomes her fear, and the transplants go ahead. Letters from grateful recipients bring comfort and Carole’s dread recedes. The barriers created to safeguard anonymity start to slip. A troubling communication from a publishing firm … a moving poem from a teenager … an ambitious would-be journalist … and the family’s peace is in grave danger.

Hazel McHaffie maps out the moral maze with clear-headed compassion for all involved. Confronting and encapsulating the related issues, whether medical, ethical, social or emotional, she tells a story which is gripping in itself and valuable in its focus on a subject which, in the widest sense, affects us all.

Rachel Warren (formerly sessional ethics tutor, Kings College, London)

Gripping and thoughtful, Hazel McHaffie writes about ethical issues in medicine with empathy and real emotional truth and power … Evocative and engaging, her novels deserve to be widely read.

Scottish Council on Bioethics

This new book from Hazel McHaffie is written with a remarkable dose of sensitivity to human nature, putting a very human face on the inevitable pathos and drama of organ transplantation, and does not keep the reader at any ‘safe’ distance ... It is a lot more lot more thorough, authentic and enjoyable than any bioethical textbook on transplantation.