Organ donation law in England is changing


What is changing?

From spring 2020, organ donation in England will move to an ‘opt out’ system. You may also hear it referred to as ‘Max and Keira’s Law’. This means that all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die unless they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups. The onus is now on you to actively ‘opt-out’ of the Organ Donation scheme rather that is the current case, to actively ‘opt-in’.

You still have a choice if you want to be an organ donor or not when you die.

Why is the law changing?

The law is being changed to help save and improve more lives. Every day across the UK, someone dies waiting for a transplant

What do I have to do?

The NHS are asking everyone to:

  1. Record your organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Click here to visit the Register website.
  2. Tell your family and friends what you have decided

When is the law changing?

The opt out system in England will come into effect from spring 2020. The law around organ donation in England will remain ‘opt in’ until this time.

Who will the changes affect?

These changes will affect all adults in England unless they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the following excluded groups:

  • 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

Tell your friends and family

Take time to talk about organ donation. Many people don’t realise that their family’s support is needed for organ donation to go ahead. So, take time to talk to your family about it. Fewer than half of families agree to donation going ahead if they are unaware of their loved one’s decision to be a donor. This rises to over nine out of 10 when the decision to be an organ donor is known.

Take time to discuss your decision with them and ask them if they want to be donors too. Don’t leave it too late to talk about organ donation.

Worried about having a discussion? Need some inspiration? Read The NHS tips for how to start that conversation about organ donation here.

Do I need to update my Estate Planning?

Client’s of Redwood Family Wealth & Estate Planners do not need to worry or take any actions with regards to updating their Estate Plans with us. This change will not impact any of the planning we have put in place for you. In fact, if you have made a specific reference in your Will with regards to wanting to donate your organs, your wishes are now even more likely to be carried out. We often find that a persons wishes had not be discussed with the family prior to death occurring and are in fact only discovered at the reading of the Will. This is usually serveral days or even weeks after death and so it is too late to fulfil your wishes.

With your wishes now registered with the NHS, the chances of your organs being utilised will be dramatically increased.

For more information please visit the NHS Organ Donation website.

Jasmine Lambert Chartered Financial Planner
Jasmine Lambert

Jasmine is the Managing Director and a Chartered Senior Financial Planner at Redwood Financial. She helps clients manage and grow their wealth and protect their estate. Jasmine also provides expert advice in our FREE Redwood Webinars, where you can learn more about Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning.

Redwood Financial is one of the south’s leading Investments, Pensions, Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning providers and we are dedicated to helping families to grow, protect and enjoy their wealth. With our unrivalled knowledge of Estate Planning, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Probate, Pensions, Savings & Investments, we can advise on any situation.
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