Fake news alert! There is no deadline to opt out

Misleading messages are circulating on social media

Have you received a misleading message on social media claiming that the deadline for recording your organ donation decision is coming soon? 

An example of a fake news story on social media

In fact, there is no deadline.

England moved to an opt out system for organ donation on 20 May 2020, but you are still free to register your decision whenever you like.

Organ donation remains your choice.

If you do not wish to be an organ and tissue donor, you can record a decision not to donate, and your decision will be respected.

More about the law change and what it means for you


Key things to remember

1. There is no deadline to make your decision. 

2. Organs are never “the property of the UK government”. Organ and tissue donation is, and always will be a precious gift.

3. If you die in circumstances that mean organ donation may be a possibility, your family will always be involved before donation takes place, and your faith, beliefs and culture will continue to be respected.

4. Patients who die from COVID-19 cannot be organ donors.

Very few people die in circumstances that make it possible for them to donate their organs.

Your choices

You can choose at any time whether to opt in or out of becoming an organ and tissue donor. You can:

Register to be a donor - Sign up as an organ donor, and choose which organs and tissue to donate.

Register not to be a donor - Opt out of all organ and tissue donation.

Change or amend  - Update your details or preferences from a previous registration.

More information

Only 1 in 100 people die in the specific circumstances where organ donation is possible, and COVID-19 is reducing the likelihood of donation being possible even further.

This year in England, and next year in Scotland, the law around organ donation will be changing.

However, you will still have a choice and your family would always be approached before donation goes ahead.

Whatever you decide, please register your decision and ensure you tell your friends and family.