Under the new law, which came into force on May 20, all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate, or are in one of the excluded groups.
Those excluded will be people under 18, those who lack the mental capacity to understand the new arrangements and take the necessary action, people who have lived in England for less than 12 months or who are not living here voluntarily and those who have nominated someone else to make the decision on their behalf.
Families will still be consulted, and people’s faith, beliefs and culture will continue to be respected. Where the individual hasn’t expressed a decision, specialist nurses will support their families to make a decision, based on what their loved ones would have wanted.
If the decision is not to donate, this will be honoured and upheld.
Anthony Clarkson, director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are asking everyone now to talk about organ donation.
“It is important that people know they still have a choice whether or not to donate.
“Not only is it important to register your choice but also to discuss your decision with your family and friends.
“Even though the law around organ donation has changed, there is no deadline to making your donation decision. You can register your choice at any time.
“Your family will always be involved in discussions about the possibility of donation, so it is vital you share your choice with them, whether you are with them in person, or are staying connected via a chat over the phone or on family Zoom or Skype calls.
“If organ donation becomes a possibility, relatives find it much easier to support a loved one’s decision if they already know what they wanted.”
For more information and to register your decision, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk.