The Organ Donation system in England has changed from today (20th May). This means that all adults in England will be considered an organ donor when they die unless they had recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups.
This is commonly referred to as an ‘opt out’ system. You may also hear it referred to as 'Max and Keira's Law'.
You can record your decision to opt in or out on the Organ Donor Register.
Those excluded will be people under 18, people who have lived in England for less than 12 months or who are not living here voluntarily, and people who lack the capacity to understand the change.
Adults covered by the change will still have a choice whether they want to be an organ donor and which organs they would like to donate, and their families will still be involved before organ donation goes ahead.
There has been tremendous progress in organ donation in England but there is still a shortage of donors. Last year, 408 patients died in the UK on the transplant waiting list.
Fiona Loud, Policy Director at Kidney Care UK, said: “We are delighted to welcome the law change, which we have supported for many years. It gives hope to the hundreds of people waiting for a kidney transplant right now, and we look forward to the time when the full benefits of the new law can be realised.
"There will need to be a huge amount of public awareness and education to help people understand the new law and dispel some of the myths surrounding organ donation. We will be working with policymakers and our medical colleagues to evaluate what happens next, and to support an increase in transplantation in the future. Capacity and resource must be built back up so that precious organs do not go to waste for want of an operating theatre or lack of staff.”