Around half the people living in Chichester are registered on the organ donor list.
The government has just announced that, subject to parliamentary approval, Max and Keira’s Law – the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act – will come into effect in May.
From the time the law changes, all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate, what’s known as ‘opt out’, or are in one of the excluded groups.
Those excluded will be people under 18, those who lack the mental capacity to understand the new arrangements and take the necessary action and people who have lived in England for under 12 months or who are not living here voluntarily.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “Too many people lose their lives waiting for an organ and I’ve been determined to do what I can to boost organ donation rates.
“So I’m incredibly proud of the action we are taking with this new law. This is an important step forward in making organ donation easier and more available to those who need it and could help save hundreds of lives every year.
“I pay tribute to the brave campaigning of families such as Max and Keira’s, whose tireless work on this issue has made a huge difference.”
The latest NHS Blood and Transplant awareness survey, carried out in January, 2020, showed that 62 per cent of the population aged 16 years or over in England are aware that the law around organ donation will be changing.
In Chichester, the number of people on the NHS organ donor register as at February 29, 2020, was 64,409, with the number on the active transplant list recorded as fewer than five.
To find out more visit: organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 303 2094.