England has passed a new organ donation law under which people will have to opt out of being an organ donor instead of opting in. This has come after Queen Elizabeth II gave royal assent to the bill named the “Max and Keira’s Law” after 9 and 10-year-olds Keira Bell and Max Johnson.
To be specific, every adult living in England will now be presumed of consenting on organ donation in an event of their death, unless they specifically express out of it. The law will be implemented starting from next year.
Max and Keira’s story follows a heart transplant which saved one of the children’s life. Namely, 10-year-old Max has been suffering from cardiomyopathy his whole life, with expensive medical equipment being the only thing keeping him alive. The only other thing that could save him, however, was a heart transplant. And that’s what he got, 3 days after 9-year-old Keira passed away in a fatal car accident, which gave a new shot at life for Max.
Max’s family was campaigning for a change in the organ donation laws for a long time and are very happy this finally happened. The government hopes the change in law will result in saving hundreds of lives every year by patients getting the donor organs they need. Not shortly after the surgery, Max gave a statement:
“It is the best I have felt in my whole life. I am looking forward to seeing my friends and going back to school. It just feels amazing.”
Prime minister Theresa May has also expressed her ‘delight’ that the Organ Donation Act has passed saying it’s a really big step that can save up to 700 lives per year.