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Organ Donation Law in Scotland Changes

Organ donation law change in Scotland

Opt-out system introduced on 26th March 2021

From the 26th March the organ and tissue donation law in Scotland is changing to an opt-out system.

What does the new law mean?

Under the new opt-out system, all adults over the age of 16 will be considered a potential organ and tissue donor when they die unless they have opted out.

If you live in Scotland, you can still choose whether or not you'd like to be an organ and tissue donor by registering your decision. Organ and tissue donation will only ever go ahead with consent from the family, this means it is really important that your family and friends know your organ donation decision, whatever it may be.

Who does the new law affect?

The new law applies to everyone over the age of 16 living in Scotland. However, there are certain groups of people who are exempt, such as:

  • Adults who lack the capacity to understand the new law and take necessary action
  • Adults who have lived in Scotland for less than 12 months before their death

It's your choice

It's important to remember that everyone still has a choice about their organ and tissue donation decision and families will always have the final say. It's more important than ever to make sure those closest to you know what your donation decision is.

Why it matters

Around 500 people in Scotland need a transplant each year and currently, there are not enough donors to meet this need. We welcome this law change and hope it results in more people receiving life saving transplants when they need them.

Clare, was diagnosed with PSC in 2006 at the age of 18 and required a liver transplant a few years later.


Share Clare's message on social media

Help us raise awareness of the importance of organ donation by sharing Clare's video on your own Facebook or Instagram page.

Clare is able to share her story today thanks to an organ donor and their family for agreeing to organ donation.