Pass it on: What you need to know about the NHS Organ Donor Register and how the law is changing

England's organ donation system is changing - and the NHS is reminding the public to check the facts ahead of an opt out system coming into force next year.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 14:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 14:14 pm
Are you an organ donor?

The new law will start in spring 2020, meaning that all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die, unless they have recorded a decision not to donate.

This week, the NHS has urged the public to be aware of the facts ahead of the change, following posts on social media which stated that the change had already come into effect.

The so-called "opt out" system will come into force from spring 2020. Until then, the law donation system in England will remain "opt in", as it is now.

What is the opt out system?

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This is a system where, if there is no recorded decision for you on the NHS Organ Donor Register, it will be considered that you have consented to be an organ donor upon death.

Certain groups, such as those under 18, visitors to England and people who lack the mental capacity to understand the change, will be excluded.

Why is the law changing?

According to NHS figures, around three people die each day in need of an organ because there are not enough available for transplant. The law is changing to help save lives. There are currently more than 6,000 waiting for a transplant across the UK.

Is there anything I need to do?

If you are already on the register and your decision has not changed, it is important to tell your loved ones of your choice. You can choose to join the register now if you would like to donate some or all of your organs. If you do not want to join, you can register that decision with the NHS, opting out.

If you want to find out more about opt out and the organ donation system, visit the NHS Organ Donation website here, or call 0300 3032094.