The Organ Donation Act will mean adults in England will be considered potential donors unless they choose to opt out or are excluded. The Act is known as Max and Keira’s law in honour of a boy who received a heart transplant and the girl who donated it.
Currently there are more than 6,000 people waiting for an organ in the UK. Three people die each day while on the waiting list. The new law will help to reduce the number of people waiting for a life-saving transplant.
Speaking about the new law, Maggie commented:
“I was delighted to support this Bill during its passage through the House of Commons and welcome the news that it has now made it into law.
“Strikingly, whilst the figures show that 80% of people in England support organ donation, only 38% have opted to register. This means that families are often left with a difficult decision when a loved one passes away.
“This Act will save thousands more lives when it comes into force in 2020 and help to reduce the current ambiguity that exist around a person’s wishes when they die.
“I am also pleased that the Government has announced its intension to run a public awareness campaign prior to the launch of the new scheme. This will help people to better understand why these changes are needed and how they can opt out of donation if they so wish.”
Jackie Doyle-Price, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health and Inequalities, said:
“This is a remarkable change that will make a real difference to so many lives and it has been a privilege to have supported the efforts of so many brilliant campaigners to pass Max and Keira’s law. The new system will mean hundreds more lives are saved every year.
“Organ donation is a deeply personal decision for everyone, which is why we will be launching a public awareness campaign to ensure people understand the new system and the choices available to them.
“Under the new law, being an organ donor will still be your choice – organ donation will remain a priceless gift.”