By Rachael Grealish
Organ donation in England has moved to an ‘opt out’ system, from today (Wednesday, May 20), called Max and Keira’s Law.
This new law means 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.
The donors family will still be approached and faith, beliefs and culture will continue to be respected.
Of course, adults still have the choice to opt out from being an organ donor via the Organ Donation UK website.
‘Max and Keira’s Law’ was named from nine-year-old Keira Ball, who died aged nine in 2017, and Max Johnson, now aged 12, who was saved by her heart and campaigned for a change in the law.
The law has been changed to help save and improve more lives. Every day across the UK, someone dies waiting for a transplant.
There are currently more than 6,000 people currently waiting for an organ in the UK. The new law will help to reduce the number of people waiting for a life-saving transplant.
The new law automatically includes all adults over the age of 18 in England except:
- 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
- People who have already opted out from donating their organs
One recipient of a heart transplant and who is fully in support of the change to law is Katy Taylor-Hamilton, from St Bees in Cumbria.