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Organ donation laws


How the law affects you

Organ donation laws vary across different countries in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. 

This page outlines the current legislative position for each of those areas, and the choices you can make.

What is meant by deemed consent, deemed authorisation, and presumed consent for organ donation?

All of these phrases describe a system for organ donation within which - unless you have recorded a decision not to donate (opted out), or are in an excluded group - it will be considered that you agree to be an organ donor when you die. This is also commonly referred to as an opt-out system. 

In an opt-out system, you still have a choice if you want to be an organ donor or not when you die and you can record this decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Tell your family

Whatever laws are in place where you live, and whatever your own decision about organ donation, it is vital that you tell your family if you want to be an organ donor. 

Did you know?

Organ donation is always discussed with the family should donation be possible, so it’s important that your family know what you want.

Want to talk to us about the opt out system?

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Questions about the opt out system?

Get answers to some of the key questions around the changes to English organ donation.

Get answers now


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