A new law is now in place which makes every adult in the UK an organ donor automatically.
Previously, they had to register on a donor list first if they wanted to.
Now, people have to opt out if they would prefer their organs not to be donated after they die.
The new law is known as Max and Keira’s Law.
Now, those aged 18 and over are deemed to have given consent to donate their own organs when they die.
However, they won’t become an organ donor if they opt out or are in an excluded group.
The story of Max and Keira
The legislation change was brought about thanks to a young boy’s dedicated campaigning.
He was passionate about changing the law after he got a new heart from a nine-year-old girl.
Keira Ball, who died in a car crash in 2017, saved four lives in total.
They included Max Johnson, also aged nine at the time, after her father allowed doctors to use her organs for transplants.
Campaigners hope the law will lead to an additional 700 transplants each year by 2023.
For many people like me, who are waiting for an organ, the law change is a sign of hope.
Also, it should spark vital conversations around organ donation within families.
A sign of hope
Faizan Awan, one of thousands of people across the UK awaiting a transplant, said: “For many people like me, who are waiting for an organ, the law change is a sign of hope and a transplant would dramatically change my life in a number of ways.
“With the new law coming into effect, it is now more important than ever to talk about organ donation and get the conversation going amongst our family and friends.”
Meanwhile, Anthony Clarkson, director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), said: “We hope this law change will prompt all of us to consider whether or not we would want to donate our organs and encourage us all to register and share our decision with our family and friends.’
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