Statement on proposed opt out organ donation legislation for England

26 February 2019

John Forsythe, Medical Director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, says:

“It looks as if the new ‘Opt Out’ legislation in England will become law in the next few days. We very much hope that once this new law comes into force in Spring 2020, we will see similar results to those we have witnessed in Wales – with more people and families agreeing to donation, enabling more lifesaving transplants to take place.

We will work closely with the Government to ensure that the introduction of the new opt-out approach is implemented successfully. Between now and then we will carry out an information campaign to make sure everyone knows about the change in the law, as well as the choice and options available to them, and that effective measures are in place to enable those who do not wish to donate to record their decision and to ensure that this decision is respected.

Sadly around three people die every day in the UK in need of an organ while more than 1,000 families say no to organ donation every year. Even after the new law, our Specialist Nurses will still speak with a potential donor’s family. It remains vital that people continue to have conversations with their family, to remove any uncertainty and offer peace of mind for those who find themselves facing the tragic loss of a loved one.”

Read more about the proposed new law regarding organ donation in England.