Today, a new system of consent for organ and tissue donation in England has gone live. Under the new system, known as ‘opt out’ or ‘deemed consent’, people over 18 years of age in England will now be considered to have agreed to donate their organs and tissue after death, except where they made a decision to opt out.
Donating organs will remain a personal decision
While the new system is now live, people will continue to be able to record their decision to opt out at any point and the simplest way to do so is on the NHS Organ Donation website.
It’s important that everyone takes the time to discuss their choices on donation with their families, whatever their preference may be. Get the facts about organ donation to help you decide
The new system comes with necessary safeguards
Children below 18 years, people who have been ordinary residents for less than 12 months in England and people who lacked capacity for a significant time, will be excluded.
Earlier in the year the Department of Health and Social Care announced a further safeguard, following our 12-week public consultation the previous year. This will ensure that the new system will only apply to routine transplants, to help those waiting for a life-saving or life-enhancing transplant.
Novel and rare transplants will be excluded from deemed consent when they become available in the UK.