From 20 May 2020, a new opt-out system for organ and tissue donation came into effect in England. This means that adults will be presumed to be organ donors when they pass away unless they have specifically recorded their decision not to be.

Organ transplantation is accepted as a valid and advanced treatment method applied in many chronic organ diseases. However, millions of people die and are buried with healthy organs, which could save the lives of many patients who continue to wait on transplant lists. Unfortunately, organ shortage is the greatest challenge facing the field of organ transplantation today.

The new opt-out system aims to meet the organ demand as much as possible with deceased organ donation. This will make an enormous difference to those patients awaiting transplants in which living organ donors are not an option.

Religious communities worldwide are increasingly accepting the decision to donate organs as a positive development, looking upon deceased organ donation as an individual act motivated by compassion.

Individuals still have a choice to be an organ donor or not and are encouraged to record their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Members of the Jamat should be assured that there is no reason to opt out and they are encouraged to inform their family and friends of their decision.

This law will only affect individuals who are over the age of 18 and will not apply to visitors to the UK or those who have lived in England for less than 12 months.

Further information including factsheets in English, Gujarati, Hindi, Arabic, and Urdu are available from the website

If you would like more information about this change in law, please contact the Aga Khan Health Board using the contact details in IIUK or by emailing [email protected].