Organ donation opt-out

The new “deemed consent” law draws closer

In the last issue of The Donor, we shared the Government’s plans to move towards an ‘opt out’ system for organ donation in England. This would mean that everybody over 18 would be considered an organ donor unless they record their decision not to donate on the NHS Organ Donor Register or are part of one of the excluded groups.

This is known as ‘deemed consent’.

The Organ Donation ‘deemed consent’ Bill has been progressing through both the House of Commons and House of Lords over the past year and has completed its journey through both Houses. It should receive Royal Assent in the coming weeks. Royal Assent turns a bill into an Act of Parliament or law. The changes would not come into full effect until spring 2020.

These changes aim to increase the number of donated organs which save and improve the lives of those in need of a transplant.

We will be launching a public information campaign in England this April to ensure that people are aware of the changes and the choices they can make before the changes come into effect.

Changing the system will help ensure that people who do support organ donation go on to help others. People will still have a choice whether or not they want to donate under the new system and families – who provide vital information – will still be involved before organ donation goes ahead.

You can find out more at

We continue to stress the importance of sharing your donation decision with your family and close friends.