Giving the gift of life
Organ, eye and tissue donation changes lives – it is sometimes the only treatment available for those who have organ failure. Just one person choosing to donate their organs could potentially transform as many as nine lives.
On 20 May 2020, the law around organ donation in England was changed. The organ donation act commonly know as Max and Keira’s bill. Named in recognition of the boy who received a heart transplant, and the girl who donated it.
However, it is still important that you take the time to think about your wishes and record your decision on the donor register. Just because the rules have changed, does not mean that consent to donate organs after death is automatically granted.
Adding your choice to the register and talking with friends and family will enable our healthcare professionals to carry out your wishes should you die in a circumstance that would permit your organs to be donated to another.
Please make sure you:
- Take time to consider what your wishes are – knowing what you want to happen makes it easier for friends and family and helps them to honour your decision by giving permission
- Discuss your decision with family and friends so they know your preference
- Register your decision officially on the NHS Organ Donor Register
The best way to record your decision is by registering your opt-in or opt-out decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Understanding the new ‘opt-out’ law
Under the new law, all adults in England are considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate (known as ‘opting out’) or are in one of the excluded groups.
Permission of the next of kin is still required before donation takes place and every adult has the right to be removed from the register. Adults can also decide which of their organs and tissues can be considered for donation and which cannot.
Those excluded are people under 18, those who lack the mental capacity to understand the new arrangements and take the necessary action, people who have lived in England for less than 12 months, those who are not living here voluntarily, and those who have nominated someone else to make the decision on their behalf.
In cases where the individual has not expressed a decision, specialist nurses will support families to make a decision, based on what their loved ones would have wanted. If the decision is not to donate, this will be honoured and upheld.
How to register
Phone: 0300 123 23 23