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An important milestone reached in consent law for organ donation

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A new organ donation law which provides deemed consent for donation could save and change the lives of hundreds waiting for an organ transplant now and in the future.

The majority of adults in the England will now be considered organ donors unless they have specifically stated otherwise or are in an excluded group via a new opt-out system.

The change is hoped to add to the limited numbers of organs that are available each year to those in need. It is hoped that the change in law will act as a prompt for all to consider whether or not we would like to donate our organs and encourage us to register and share our decision with family and friends.

A similar law has already existed in Wales since 2015 and is due to take place in Scotland in autumn 2020.

A client of clinical negligence senior associate Sharon Banga, Ilana Houghton, explains what the change in law means to her:

“I received a kidney transplant from someone who was kind enough to agree to donation before they passed away in November 2019. I am so grateful to that person and their family. I know that others in my situation are still waiting. This change will hopefully help many people who are presently receiving dialysis for kidney failure, or are waiting for other types of transplants and are having their daily lives impacted as a result”

Sharon comments“I welcome this positive change in the law. It is often the case that understandably, very few people actually have the important conversation about organ donation with their families / friends or don’t register their preference. It is expected that this legal change will promote such action to the benefit of many awaiting organ transplant. I know it will be a sign of hope for many of my former and present clients.”

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