The Department of Health launched a consultation on Tuesday 12 December 2017, about organ and tissue donation.

The Government wants to know what people think about proposed changes, in which people are considered willing to be an organ donor after their death, unless they have ‘opted out’.

They want to find out what people think of how the changes to the system should be made, and what else they think the Government needs to consider.

The defining issues of the new system are:

  • How much say families have in their deceased relative’s decision to donate their organs
  • When exemptions to ‘opt-out’ would be needed, and what safeguards would be necessary
  • How a new system might affect certain groups depending on age, disability, race or faith

It also asks how it could be made easier for people to register their wishes; how family members should be involved in decisions; and which safeguards and excemptions are required for certain groups of people.

The links to documents you might want to read before you respond are below:-

To take part in the consultations which is on another website, please go to:

The consultation closes at 11.59 on 6 March 2018.

The current system requires donors to actively have entered an NHS register. However, the DoH said that despite ‘most’ people never registering to be donors, ‘eight in 10’ would want to donate organs and tissue.

Implementing the new system will allow doctors to use the organs of dead adults even if they found no written permission.

Scotland  and Wales already adopted this system, in June 2017 and December 2015 respectively and in Wales this ‘soft’ opt-out system that allows relatives to oppose to donation has ‘already saved lives’ according to the Welsh Government. 

This year, the UK Transplant Activity Report 2016/17 has shown that more than 50,000 survived thanks to organ transplants.