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Opt Out System for Organ and Tissue Donation in England

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Consultation response and Government plans to introduce a new opt out system for organ donation in England from spring 2020.

Earlier this year, the Government ran a public consultation on attitudes towards organ donation with a view to introducing a new, opt out system in England. PSC Support contributed to the consultation, and we are delighted this morning to share the consultation response and Government plans to introduce a new opt out system for organ donation in England from spring 2020.

The Chair of Trustees of PSC Support, Martine Walmsley, said, "PSC is indicated in over 10% of all liver transplants per year despite being a rare disease. We welcome this initiative to increase the number of organs available for transplantation. We should continue to shine the light on organ donation and shift society's views to make organ donation and transplantation the norm."

Summary of plans

To increase the number of organs and tissues available for transplant, everyone in England will be considered an organ and tissue donor from spring 2020, unless they have recorded a wish not to be so or are excluded.

  • Those who do not wish to donate their organs and tissues will be able to record their wish on the Register.
  • Those who do wish to donate will still be able to express their wish on the Register and select the organs they are willing to donate. People will continue to be able to change or amend their decision at any time.
  • From December 2018, there will be a more inclusive Register with the option to state that your faith is important to your organ donation decision and that your family and/or faith leader should be consulted if organ donation is a possibility on your death to ensure that any religious considerations are observed.
  • There will also be greater accessibility to the Register through the new NHS app due to launch in England at the end of the year.
  • As before, people will still be able to appoint somebody else to make the final decision for them after death. Children will still be able to sign up on the Register.

Certain classes of people will not be included as having deemed consent, eg under 18s.

Read the full Government response and plans here.