Organ donation law in England

The way organ donation works has changed. You still have a choice.

Organ donation in England has changed to an opt out system. 

You still have a choice whether or not you want to become an organ donor. 

We will always ask your family to support your decision. So whatever you choose, it's really important that you let them know.

How does the opt out system work?

The opt out system means that all adults agree to become organ donors when they die, unless they have made it known that they do not wish to donate. 

If you have not recorded an organ donation decision and you are not in one of the excluded groups, it will be considered that you agree to donate your organs when you die. 

You may hear this system referred to as the opt out system, deemed consent, presumed consent or Max and Keira's Law. 

You can still choose whether or not you want to be an organ donor when you die by registering your decision and telling your family. Your faith, beliefs and culture will continue to be respected.

Get the facts about organ donation to help you decide.

Who is affected?

The opt out system applies to everyone in England, except for those who are part of what are called excluded groups. 

Excluded groups are:

  • 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, and those not living here voluntarily
  • People who have lived in England for less than 12 months before their death

What do I need to do?

If you would like to speak to somebody about your choices, please call our contact centre on 0300 123 23 23.

Why was the system changed?

On 20 May 2020, the law around organ donation in England was changed to help save and improve more lives. 

See the timeline of events leading up to this change

Did you know?

Every day across the UK, someone dies waiting for a transplant because of a shortage of organ donors.

We hope that the change to an opt out system in England will see more people agree to support organ donation and help save and improve more lives.

More information

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