There are currently two key laws governing organ donation and transplantation in the UK: The Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006 and The Human Tissue Act 2004 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland). New legislation - the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013 - came into effect in Wales on 1 December 2015. This new law means that unless a person living in Wales has expressed a decision not to be an organ donor they will be regarded as having no objection to organ donation. This is called a “deemed consent” system, or as it’s popularly known, a “soft opt out” or “opt out” system.
The Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006 sets out that:
At present, in order to become an organ donor, a person must express a wish to be a donor. This system is commonly known as 'opt-in'.
Ways in which people can express their wishes to opt-in include:
If a person’s wishes are unknown, specially-trained healthcare professionals will approach the family for their authorisation to proceed, based on their knowledge of the potential donor.
For both adults and children over 12, withdrawal of authorisation must be in writing.
For more information about the Human Tissue Act (Scotland) 2006 download a copy of our leaflet.
Further information on organ donation in Wales, can be found on the Organ Donation Wales website at http://organdonationwales.org/Join-the-Organ-Donor-Register/?lang=en