The Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill received Royal Assent on Friday, meaning that from 2020 all of England’s adult residents of sound mind will be presumed to have “consented” to having their organs donated after death unless they have specified otherwise.
The law, similar to that adopted in Wales in 2015, “will mean adults in England will be considered potential donors unless they chose to opt out or are excluded,” according to a Government statement.
Excluded are those who have not lived in England for at least one year before their death, those who “lack the mental capacity to understand the changes for a significant period before their death,” and children under the age of 18.
Those who do not want their organs to be taken will need to actively inform the National Health Service, by recording their choice on the NHS Organ Donation Register. Next of kin are still able to object.
The government believes that presuming consent will help reduce the list of people currently waiting for an organ; however, the similar Welsh law has so far failed to increase the number of donated organs.
Sceptics of the law say that better campaigning, education, and more trained staff to discuss organ donation with people would increase the numbers of those actively signing up to donate.
It has also raised questions of the moral implications, and issues of personal autonomy, if the state can presume rights over a person’s organs after death.
‘How Dare You’ NHS Staff Attack Trump for Claiming UK Health Service is Broke… After Hosting Rally Claiming It is Broke https://t.co/qvC56Xdv64
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