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The laws surrounding organ donation have changed: do you know your rights?

In May 2020 the law surrounding organ donation changed so that all adults in England will now be considered to have given consent to donate their organs when they die, unless they have formally ‘opted-out’ and their decision has been registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Prior to this change in law, adults in England were not automatically considered to have agreed to organ donation.  However, with NHS Blood and Transplant reporting that there are more than 6,000 people waiting for a transplant in England alone, it is hoped that this change will help save more lives.

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant has said, “It is absolutely an individual’s choice whether they want to register as an organ donor or to opt out. Once a person has made their decision, we encourage them to let their friends and family know.”

Despite the change in the law, when the time comes families will still be involved before the organ retrieval goes ahead.  It is now perhaps more important than ever to speak with your family about your thoughts and opinions surrounding organ donation to make the process easier for your family and to ensure your wishes are honored.

One way to record and confirm your instructions for organ donation, whether you support the change in law or whether you would prefer not to donate your organs, is to put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare.

A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare is a legal document whereby you can appoint people you trust to make decisions for you regarding medical treatment, medication, and your care and decisions relating to your health and your body if you are ever unable to make these decisions for yourself.

Although Lasting Powers of Attorney are primarily used during lifetime to authorise your Attorneys to make health decisions for you, an LPA is a legal document where you can record your wishes including whether you would like to donate your organs or whether you have opted-out of the donation.

Get in Touch

Barrett and Co are here to support you and help protect your wishes.  If you would like to discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney or any other matter, please do not hesitate to telephone 0118 958 9711 or email [email protected] and someone from the team will be in touch to assist you.

Further Reading:

COVID-19: What to Do When Someone Dies – Three things you need to know

Do you need to update your Will?

Funerals During Coronavirus

Get in Touch

Vanessa Ruparel offers a fixed fee initial meeting of one hour to discuss your personal circumstances, your options and your next steps, at a cost of £95 (inc VAT).

Vanessa will meet you in our Reading Berkshire office, alternatively meetings can occur by telephone. If you would like to meet with Vanessa please telephone the office so that an appointment can be arranged.

Vanessa is a Solicitor specialising in Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and the administration of estates.

"barrettandco" and "Barrett & Co" are trading names of Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP, a Limited Liability Partnership incorporated in England and Wales under registration number OC356263, with registered office at Advantage House, 87 Castle Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 7SN. Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority www.sra.org.uk (SRA Number 549694).

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