From 20 May 2020, the law around deceased organ donation in England has changed. As in Wales, all adults in England are now 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.
This is commonly referred to as an ‘opt out’ system. You may also hear it referred to as ‘Max and Keira’s Law’. You still have a choice whether or not you wish to become a donor.
For more information on what his means please visit NHS Blood and Transplant’s website here.
Whilst we hope this change will increase the number of organs available for donation, we do not envisage the changes to the law will negate the need for living kidney donors. There are almost 5000 people in need of a kidney in the UK and it is very unlikely that supply of organs from deceased donors will meet this demand. For most patients with kidney disease, a kidney from a living donor is still the best treatment option, and kidneys from non-directed donors are invaluable in the kidney sharing scheme, triggering up to three transplants at a time. With transplantation vastly reduced due to COVID-19, we will be re-doubling our efforts to ask people to consider whether they might be a living kidney donor when transplantation activity returns to normal.