Changes to the organ donation system

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7th August 2018
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8th August 2018

Changes to the organ donation system

Earlier in 2018, the Government asked people whether they wanted to change the system to one that will result in more organs being donated. They heard from over 17,000 people and organisations and have decided to change how organ donation works. Currently, you must choose if you wish to donate your organs. From 2020 you will have to choose if you do not wish to donate your organs.

The reason for the change is that there is always a need for more organ donors. In 2017/18 over 3,000 transplants took place, however there are still around 6,400 people waiting for an organ. 80% of people in England are willing to, or would consider donating some or all of their organs, only 37% have recorded their decision on the Organ Donor Register.  It is believed that this new method could save up to 700 lives a year.

People who will be excluded from automatic donation:

  • children below 18
  • people who lack the mental capacity to understand the changes and make an informed decision
  • people who have lived ordinarily in England for less than 12 months immediately before their death

In 2019 a new way of recording your wishes will be launched. You can read more about the consultation here. You can find out more about organ donation here.

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