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Health chiefs clear up misconceptions on organ donor law change

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:00 02 March 2020

Changes to the law on organ donation are coming, so read up on what this means for your family. Picture: NHS Blood and Transplant

Changes to the law on organ donation are coming, so read up on what this means for your family. Picture: NHS Blood and Transplant

Archant

Some local organ donors are getting confused following the announcement of a major change in the law.

Now the NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people in the UK, including Bromley, Bexley, Gravesend and Dartford, to ensure they are up to speed on the facts.

The laws come into effect in the spring, but the organisation said it is aware of a lot of misconceptions appearing on social media platforms, particularly among the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

So, to set the record straight, it said people will be able to register their decision at any time before or after the law change.

Also, people are only included on the NHS Organ Donor Register if they have formally registered their decision to opt in or out.

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An exact date for the law change to take effect is expected to be confirmed by government in coming weeks.

Anthony Clarkson, director of organ donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "Organ donation remains a choice and families will still be involved in any donation decision.

"It is absolutely an individual's choice whether they want to register as an organ donor or to opt out. We want to ensure that people are making the right decision for them based on facts rather than misinformation. "Once a person has made their decision, we encourage them to let their friends and family know and consider registering their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register."

When the law changes, adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate, what's known as 'opt out', or are in one of the excluded groups. Those excluded will be people under 18, people who have lived in England for less than 12 months or who are not living here voluntarily, and people who lack the capacity to understand the change.

Over 6,000 people are currently waiting for a transplant, and yet only one per cent of people die in circumstances where organ donation is possible.

More information at organdonation.nhs.uk/uk-laws/organ-donation-law-in-england/ or call 0300 303 2094.


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