Organ donation law in England is changing

From spring 2020, organ donation in England will move to an 'opt out' system. You may also hear it referred to as 'Max and Keira's Law'.

This means 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 or are in one of the excluded groups.

You still have a choice if you want to be an organ donor or not when you die.

Why is the law changing?

The law is being changed to help save and improve more lives. Every day across the UK, someone dies waiting for a transplant

What do I have to do?

We are asking everyone to:

Record your organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register Tell your family and friends what you have decided

Have you recorded your organ donation decision?

If you would like to speak to somebody about your choices, please call our dedicated line: 0300 303 2094

When is the law changing?

The opt out system in England will come into effect from spring 2020. The law around organ donation in England will remain ‘opt in’ until this time.

Who will the changes affect?

These changes will affect all adults in England unless they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the following excluded groups:

Those under the age of 18 people who lack the mental capacity to understand the new arrangements and take the necessary action visitors to England, and those not living here voluntarily people who have lived in England for less than 12 months before their death

Max, received a lifesaving heart transplant in August 2017 aged nine.

He was on the waiting list for eight months after being diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy - a disease of the heart muscle. Following the diagnosis, Max’s parents were devastated.

Dad Paul recalls: “It was absolutely awful being told Max would need a heart transplant. The wait was agonising; as a parent you are desperately looking for reassurance from the medics but with organ donation it’s the one thing they can’t give you.”

Throughout his wait Max decided to share his story and support a campaign in favour of an opt-out system for organ donation.

Dad Paul says: “Max met several children whose wait for a transplant was sadly too long. He wanted to help and be part of something that could stop it happening.”

Max’s gift of life came from a young girl, Keira Ball, who passed away aged 9 years old.

Her parents made the selfless decision to help others through their own tragedy.

Max and Keira's law

In 2018 the government announced that the law around organ donation would be changing and would be commonly referred to as Max’s Law, in recognition of all the campaigning Max and his family have done.

Max announced he wanted Keira’s name to be added. The Bill received Royal Assent on 15 March 2019 and Max and Keira’s Law will be enacted in England in Spring 2020.