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Organ Donation- Law Change

20th May 2020 - Date of Change For Organ Donation

Organ donation law in England

The way organ donation works has changed. You still have a choice.

Organ donation in England has changed to an opt out system. 

You still have a choice whether or not you want to become an organ donor. 

NHS will always ask your family to support your decision. So whatever you choose, 

it's really important that you let them know.

About the opt out system

How it works Who it affects What you need to do Why it was changed Non-English information Easy Read information

How does the opt out system work?

The opt out system means that all adults agree to become organ donors when they die, unless they have made it known that they do not wish to donate. 

If you have not recorded an organ donation decision and you are not in one of the excluded groups, it will be considered that you agree to donate your organs when you die. 

You may hear this system referred to as the opt out system, deemed consent, presumed consent or Max and Keira's Law

You can still choose whether or not you want to be an organ donor when you die by registering your decision and telling your family. Your faith, beliefs and culture will continue to be respected.

Get the facts about organ donation to help you decide.

Who is affected?

The opt out system applies to everyone in England, except for those who are part of what are called excluded groups. 

Excluded groups are:

  • 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

Watch our animation


What do I need to do?


Have you recorded your organ donation decision?

Make your choice


Tell your family and friends

Having a conversation about your decision now could help your family to support your decision at a difficult time.

Get tips now

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

Why was the system changed?

On 20 May 2020, the law around organ donation in England was changed to help save and improve more lives. 

Did you know?


Every day across the UK, someone dies waiting for a transplant because of a shortage of organ donors.

We hope that the change to an opt out system in England will see more people agree to support organ donation and help save and improve more lives.


More information


Have questions or concerns?

Get the facts behind common misconceptions around organ donation and funeral arrangements, faith and beliefs, the opt out system, family involvement and more.

Get the facts now


Download our fact sheet

Download our fact sheet about changes to the law around organ donation in England, and the choices you can make. Also available in Easy Read format. 

Download and share now


Non-English information

Get information about the law change in ગુજરાતી Gujarati | हिंदी Hindi |

Get information in your language


Still have questions about the opt out system?

Get answers to some of the key questions around the changes to English organ donation.

Get answers here


Are you under 18?

Changes to the way organ donation works in England will affect you at 18, but why wait? If you know what you want, you can record your organ donation decision now.

Act now

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