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Deemed consent to organ donation: what critical care nurses need to know

13 August 2020
10 min read
Volume 29 · Issue 15

On 20 May 2020, organ donation in England changed to a ‘deemed consent’ system, which means adults who live and die in England are considered to be a donor after their death unless they have indicated that they did not want to be a donor. The Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act (2019) was implemented after Wales implemented a similar system in 2015, and Jersey in 2019. The Isle of Man, Guernsey and Scotland are expected to introduce a deemed consent (‘authorisation’ in Scotland) system in the next 18 months

With this wave of change in the UK, it is important that those working in critical care are fully aware of their important role and responsibility in understanding, supporting and implementing the new law.

The Act is more commonly referred to as ‘Max and Keira's law’ after the inspirational Keira Ball who died following a road traffic incident and her heart was transplanted into Max Johnson, a courageous young boy who had been dying from dilated cardiomyopathy. After a high-profile media campaign and cross-party political support for the proposed legislation, the Bill received royal assent, and became law on 15 March 2019.

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