Organ donation law in England
What does the change to an opt out organ donation system mean for people in England?
How is organ donation law changing?
From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered to have consented to be an organ donor when they die unless they had recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups. This is commonly referred to as an ‘opt out’ system. You may also hear it referred to as 'Max and Keira's Law'.
More about the opt out system
If there is no recorded decision for you on the NHS Organ Donor Register, it will be assumed that you want to be an organ donor when you die.
Organ donation is still a gift, and adults covered by the change will still have a choice about whether they want to be an organ donor and their families will still be approached to discuss the option of organ donation.
If you would like to speak to somebody about these changes, please call our dedicated line: 0300 303 2094
Why is the law changing?
Every day, three people die in need of an organ, because not enough organs are available for transplant.
The law is being changed to help save and improve more lives.
What do I have to do?
- If you want to be an organ donor, the best way to record your choice is to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.
- If you do not want to be an organ donor, you should register a ‘refuse to donate’ decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register. This is also known as opting out.
- If you are already registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register, and your decision remains the same, you should tell your family what you want.
- If you want to change your decision, which is already registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register, you should amend your registration.
Whatever you decide, make sure you tell your family, so they can honour your choice.
Tell your family
It is essential to tell your family whether or not you want to be an organ donor.
You can record a decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register to opt in, or opt out, but your family will be asked to honour your decision, when the time comes.
Did you know?
If there is no recorded decision for you, your family will be asked if they have any information that shows whether or not you wanted to donate.
- Those under the age of 18
- People who lack the mental capacity to understand the new arrangements and take the necessary action
- Visitors to England
- People who have lived in England for less than 12 months or who are not living here voluntarily
What is the NHS Organ Donor Register?
The NHS Organ Donor Register is a database that holds the details of all those who have registered a decision about organ donation, whether they have decided to donate or not. Registering on the NHS Organ Donor Register and telling your family are the best ways to ensure your decision is honoured.
Want to talk about opt out?
0300 303 2094
Call us on our dedicated line.
Minicom: 0845 730 0106
Text chat: 07860 034343
Questions about opt out?
Get answers to some of the key questions around the changes to English organ donation.
Organ donation law where you live
Organ donation laws vary in different countries across the United Kingdom.
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