From today, organ donation will be ‘opt-out’, meaning more live-saving operations will happen in England. From today, if someone dies and their organs can be used to save the lives of others, unless they have recorded that they do not want this to happen (or are part of certain excluded groups, such as children). The new system has been extensively consulted on and discussed over the past two years.
NHSBT explains that in an opt out system people still have a choice about whether or not to donate and can record their decision at any time – before or after the opt out system comes into effect. Where donation is a possibility, families are always consulted to ensure we know what the person who has died wanted to happen. For more details on the system go to the NHSBT website.
Orin Lewis, NBTA Co-Chair, said,
“6,000 people across the UK are currently waiting for a transplant and sadly many will die waiting, so news of the new opt out organ donation law change being introduced on the 20th May 2020 is something we at the NBTA (National BAME Transplant Alliance) have championed since it was announced two years ago and most definitely welcome.
One in five people who died on the organ transplant waiting list year were from a BAME background, and while we encourage people of all races to record their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register website prior to the law change and after, we have a particular focus on engaging with the BAME communities on this subject matter especially when ethnicity matching on certain organs is so vital as many individuals from these diverse ethnic backgrounds are disproportionately affected.
It is important to understand that donating organs will always remain a personal decision, so please find out more about the facts, make your decision whilst informing loved ones on whatever your preference may be.”