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Timeline for Max and Keira's Law

How England moved to an opt out system for organ donation

4 October 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May vows to change the law on organ donation to an opt out system.

Our ability to help people who need transplants is limited by the number of organ donors that come forward… to address this challenge that affects all communities in our country, we will change that system.
Theresa May

Prime Minister, 2016-19

6 October 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May writes to nine-year-old heart transplant recipient Max Johnson to tell him that the proposed new law will be referred to as Max’s Law, in recognition of his organ donation campaign work.

Max Johnson, smiling
Heart transplant recipient and campigner Max Johnson

12 December 2017

The Government launches a 12-week consultation into a proposed opt-out organ donation system for England.

Read the NHS Blood and Transplant response

5 August 2018

The Government announces a new system of consent for organ and tissue donation.

Read the NHS Blood and Transplant response

26 February 2019

The Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill, aka Max's Law, passes through Parliament on its third reading.

Read the NHS Blood and Transplant response

15 March 2019

The Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill – now referred to as Max and Keira’s Law to include the name of Max's heart donor - achieves Royal Assent, meaning that it has been formally approved by the Queen.

Keira Ball, smiling
Max's heart donor, nine-year-old Keira Ball
Even if it saves just one life, it will be worth it. I know what it is like to wait for an organ, so I hope the change in law will mean people won't have to wait as long in the future.
Max Johnson

Heart transplant recipient and campaigner

25 April 2019

NHS Blood and Transplant launches a long-running campaign to increase awareness around the upcoming changes to organ donation law in England.

25 February 2020

The Government announces that, subject to parliamentary approval, Max and Keira’s Law – the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act – will come into effect on the 20 May 2020.

Read the NHS Blood and Transplant response

20 May 2020

The Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill - aka Max and Keira’s Law, or the opt out system - comes into effect in England.