Guides & Advice

New organ donation law - what it means for you

Published: 25th June 2020
Area: For the individual

New organ donation law - what it means for you

The law concerning organ donation in England changed on 20 May 2020, creating a new system that will save many lives in the future.

NHS organ donation - what has changed?

Previously, medical professionals could only consider you as a potential organ donor if you had signed up to the NHS Organ Donation Register. However, The Organ Donation Act (which was enacted on 20 May 2020) has created a new ‘opt-out’ system, meaning that adults in England will be considered as a potential organ donor, unless you chose to opt-out or are in one of the excluded groups.

You can read more about the changes on the NHS organ donation website.

Max and Kiera’s Law

The Organ Donation Act is also referred to as ‘Max and Kiera’s Law’. Kiera sadly passed away aged nine after being involved in a road traffic accident in 2017, and through her donation, she was able to save four people – her heart was given to nine-year-old boy called Max.

Max, his family and Kiera’s family campaigned for the opt-out system, which was given royal assent on 15 March 2019.

How do I opt out of organ donation?

NHS Organ Donor Register

If you do not wish to donate your organs, you must register your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

You do not need to record a decision to ‘opt-out’ if you are in the following ‘excluded group’. The changes to the law will not apply for those that:

  • are under the age of 18;
  • lack the mental capacity to understand the change for a significant period before their death; or
  • have not lived in England for at least 12 months before their death, or not living in England voluntarily.

Medical professionals will still consult with your family members and loved ones and your culture, faith and beliefs will be respected.

It is therefore important that you record your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register, and also tell your family and loved ones what you have decided.

Your will or lasting power of attorney

You can also record your opt-out decision around organ donation. in a lasting power of attorney for health and welfare or a living will.

As with recording your decision on the Organ Donor Register, It is also important to inform your loved ones of that decision (and to show them a copy of what you've included in your lasting power of attorney or living will), so they're fully aware of your wishes in advance. 

Contact us

If you’d like to review an existing lasting power of attorney, or a living will, or would like to discuss putting one in place to record your decision on organ donation, then our private client team can help.

Our team of experts will guide you through the process and support you with formally recording your end of life care wishes.

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

SHMA® ON DEMAND

Listen to our SHMA® ON DEMAND content covering a broad range of topics to help support you and your business.

Life after Furlough

16 Sep

Jon Heuvel, Partner | Nicola Holton, Legal Director
Life after Furlough

If trading conditions have not improved, this possibly spells redundancies and insolvencies. It is […]

Employment: The importance of employee well-being in the workplace and practical issues for employers to consider

21 Sep

Rhys Wyborn, Partner | Virginia Harvey, Partner
Employment: The importance of employee well-being in the workplace and practical issues for employers to consider

In this joint webinar with Brewin Dolphin, we will look at factors to consider […]

Employment: Jab or no jab – mock employment tribunal

29 Sep

Natasha Jasinska, Paralegal | Robin Gronbech, Solicitor | Lubna Laheria, Solicitor | Emma Oliver, Associate | Helen Hughes, Legal Director | Michael Hibbs, Partner | Matt McDonald, Partner
Employment: Jab or no jab – mock employment tribunal

Join us for a 3 hour virtual employment mock tribunal as we lead you […]

Legal dos and don’ts for fast growing tech businesses

29 Sep

Helen Molloy, Partner | Kerry Russell, Legal Director
Legal dos and don’ts for fast growing tech businesses

We will guide you through the legal life cycle of a fast-growing tech company, […]

Our thoughts

All the latest views and insights on current topics.

LPA reform proposals: a snapshot

10 Sep

Private Client

LPA reform proposals: a snapshot

The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) process is set to move into the 21st […]

Read article Right Arrow

Our latest edition of Life Times magazine

9 Jul

For the individual

Our latest edition of Life Times magazine

As the country continues to make strides with the lifting of national restrictions and […]

Read article Right Arrow

Legacy loop: summer edition 2021

29 Jun

For the individual

Legacy loop: summer edition 2021

Read article Right Arrow

Separating from old law – No-fault divorce to be introduced

21 Jun

Family

Separating from old law – No-fault divorce to be introduced

Read article Right Arrow

Your summer guide to recovery and resilience

15 Jun

Corporate & Commercial

Your summer guide to recovery and resilience

Read article Right Arrow

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate – that is the question…

7 Jun

Family

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate – that is the question…

Read article Right Arrow

Garraway’s digital legacy challenges are a lesson to us all

30 Apr

For the individual

Garraway’s digital legacy challenges are a lesson to us all

Read article Right Arrow

How can we help?

Our expert lawyers are ready to help you with a wide range of legal services, use the search below or call us on: 0330 024 0333