New opt-out organ donation law comes into force in England

Legislation introduced last week means that the majority of adults in England will have to opt-out of becoming an organ donor. It is hoped that the law will lead to an additional 700 transplants each year by 2023.

The legislation is known as ‘Max and Keira’s law’ after Max Johnson received a new heart from Keira Ball, a nine-year-old girl who died in a car crash in 2017. Keira Ball saved four lives after her father allowed doctors to use her organs for transplants. Health minister Lord Bethall said that the law may not come into practice straight away “due to the limitations of Covid”. The number of transplants taking place in the UK has dropped dramatically due to coronavirus, with figures from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) showing that just 99 such operations were performed in April compared with 244 in March.

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