The Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act 2019 heralds a new system of consent for organ and tissue donation in England, known as ‘opt-out' or ‘deemed consent’. The Government aims for the new consent arrangements to be introduced from spring 2020.
Ahead of the new system coming into force, the Government held a 12-week public consultation to seek views on a proposed list of organs and tissues to exclude from deemed consent. The Government Response to the consultation, the accompanying regulations and a Code of Practice for healthcare professionals, prepared by the Human Tissue Authority following public consultation, will be laid in Parliament in the near future, with information about the timetable.
To make the public fully aware of the new system of consent, NHS Blood and Transplant launched a communication campaign on behalf of Government in April 2019. Several platforms have been used since then to raise public awareness of the new system, more recently through TV and radio adverts, as well as public advertising with specific targeting of people with different backgrounds, faith and beliefs. NHS Blood and Transplant will continue to work with general practitioner (GP) practices, schools and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities to address barriers to organ donation.