We’re supporting Organ Donation Week and it’s particularly important this year because English law around this important process has changed. From May this year, organ donation has become an ‘opt-out’ system, so all adults in England are considered to have ‘opted in’ to donate their organs when they die unless they have recorded a specific wish to ‘opt out’ or are in an excluded group.
You can register your decision quickly and easily online by going to:
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
Donating your organs after your death can transform the life of another person who may have been waiting for an organ match for many years - read the stories featured here: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/helping-you-to-decide/real-life-stories/
Whatever your decision, you are encouraged to discuss this with your family so that they are aware of your wishes. There is also a helpline number if you would like to discuss your decision with an independent counsellor. If you change your mind you can return to the website and amend your decision online at any time. If you already have a donor card under the previous English system, it is probably also worth checking that your wishes are accurately recorded online.
Wales has a similar system to that in England, and Scotland will be adopting new legislation along these lines next year.
Every day someone dies waiting for a transplant because of a shortage of organ donors, so make sure your family understands your wishes and register to confirm this online today and help to save more lives.
Please visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk for more information.