New law coming into force TODAY means that every adult is now an organ donor … unless they opt out
- Experts believe that by 2023, the method will lead to 700 additional transplants per year
- It is known as ‘Max and Keira’s Law’ after Keira Ball’s death saved Max Johnson
- Ministers acknowledge, however, that the coronavirus crisis may delay the system
- Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19
Transplant patients awaiting a “breakthrough” new law, which means that every adult is automatically considered an organ donor.
According to the legislation, everyone in England is deemed to have given permission to donate their organs in the event of death, unless they explicitly opt out or belong to an excluded group.
This method is believed to lead to another 700 transplants per year by 2023.
The new legislation is known as “Max and Keira’s Law” after nine-year-old Keira Ball saved the lives of Max Johnson, nine and three other people, too.
Transplant patients awaiting a “breakthrough” new law, meaning that every adult is automatically considered an organ donor
Keira’s father allowed doctors to use her organs for transplants after a car accident in 2017.
The new law will take effect today, although Health Minister Lord Bethell has admitted that the system could be delayed due to the coronavirus crisis.
He said to the House of Lords on Monday, “The legislation will take effect on May 20. However, we recognize that this may not be immediately effective due to Covid’s limitations. ”
Many transplants have not been performed during the coronavirus pandemic due to concerns about patient safety.
The new legislation is known as ‘Max and Keira’s law’ after the death of nine-year-old Keira Ball, pictured with mother Loanna, saved the lives of Max Johnson, nine, and three other people
Max (left) was saved by a heart given to him by the family of nine-year-old donor Keira (right) after her death in 2017
Figures from NHS Blood and Transplant show that only 99 transplants were performed in April, up from 244 in March.
Douglas Craft, 73, who has been on the kidney waiting list for two years, said the timing of the change in law that coincided with the pandemic was unfortunate.
He said, “It’s actually the best policy, but it’s such a waste of organs, that’s the only problem. If it were a safer environment, it would be fine. ‘
Mr Craft, a retired butcher from Chichester, received a kidney transplant in 2000 that lasted 18 years. He is hopeful that another contest will come when transplants can resume in his area.
Lutan, Ethan Eaves, has been waiting in the hospital for a heart transplant since August
14-month-old Richard’s father (pictured) was diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, but received a transplant in January
He welcomed the law and said, “I hope it will be a positive change, with more transplants for everyone.”
He added that he looks forward to a time when organ donation is “self-evident” and “only part of living and dying.”
Steve Burton, 58, who is also waiting for a transplant, has been isolating himself with his wife since early March in Blackpool, Lancashire.
He said that while he was “terrified” of engaging Covid-19, the legislation has boosted his morale.
He added, “It’s a game changer now, because I’m clearly looking for the gift of someone’s life, and the fact that there are many more people in that window now to receive that gift, it’s only good for me. “
BOY, 10, WHICH HAS INSPIRED NEW LAW
Theresa May named the opt-out law Max and Keira’s law in honor of heart transplant survivor Max Johnson.
The 10-year-old waited nine months for a new heart until he finally got one in August 2017. He suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy, meaning he had to be kept alive by medical equipment.
Theresa May named the opt-out law Max’s Law in honor of heart transplant survivor Max Johnson (photo)
His mother, Emma Johnson, campaigned for an opt-out system to help other children.
In a video message to MPs, Max said, “Change the law … it will save lives like mine.”
Max’s story is said to have inspired more than 1,000 people to sign up to the NHS organ donation registry.
His new heart was donated by the nine-year-old victim of a car accident, Keira Bell, who also donated her kidneys and pancreas.
Ms. Johnson, 47, said, “Keira saved four people. We will be in debt forever. ‘
Max received the Pride of Britain’s Child of Courage Award in October for his instrumental role in changing the organ donation law.