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.

Agriculture: diversifying or leasing your land to create habitat banks

6 Jul

Peter Snodgrass, Partner & Head of Agriculture
Agriculture: diversifying or leasing your land to create habitat banks

We know that biodiversity net gains provide a significant opportunity for landowners to diversify […]

Misconduct outside the workplace and business disrepute

8 Sep

Michael Hibbs, Partner
Misconduct outside the workplace and business disrepute

In this webinar, Mike Hibbs – Partner and Robin Gronbech - Solicitor in our […]

Our thoughts

All the latest views and insights on current topics.

Spring 2022 Consumer Finance Update

17 Jun

For the individual

Spring 2022 Consumer Finance Update

Spring 2022 Consumer Finance Update Eddie Flanagan discusses the latest updates from the consumer finance […]

Read article Right Arrow

Charity expert vows to ‘stand up for the sector’ after committee appointment

10 Jun

For the individual

Charity expert vows to ‘stand up for the sector’ after committee appointment

Charity law and governance expert Catherine Rustomji has been elected to sit on the […]

Read article Right Arrow

What’s in a name? Your holiday could be riding on it

18 May

For the individual

What’s in a name? Your holiday could be riding on it

Read article Right Arrow

No-fault divorce becomes legislation on Wednesday 6 April 2022

5 Apr

Family

No-fault divorce becomes legislation on Wednesday 6 April 2022

Read article Right Arrow

Birmingham law firm’s family team bolstered with specialist partner appointment

16 Mar

Firm News

Birmingham law firm’s family team bolstered with specialist partner appointment

Read article Right Arrow

A simple guide to defamation – what is it and how to bring and protect against a claim

9 Mar

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

A simple guide to defamation – what is it and how to bring and protect against a claim

Read article Right Arrow

Legacy loop: spring edition 2022

8 Mar

For the individual

Legacy loop: spring edition 2022

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