Law changes to make you opted in to be organ and tissue donor

The law around organ and tissue donation is changing, and a campaign is underway to
encourage people to make their donation decision known.

From 26th March, Scotland will move to an opt out system of organ and tissue donation to help
save and improve lives.

The change in law means that if people aged 16 and over have not recorded a decision about
donation, they will be considered as a possible donor when they die.

Everyone has a choice under the new law – to be a donor, or to opt out of donation – but
whatever you decide, it’s important to make it known.

The best way to do this is by recording your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Donation remains a personal decision and people can record their choice and preferences there at any time.

Family and friends

As well as recording your donation decision, it’s also important to share it with family and friends so they know what you’d want to happen. Having that knowledge will allow them to share your latest views on donation to help ensure your decision is honoured.

Public Health Minister Mairi Gougeon said: “Organ and tissue donation is a great act of generosity that can transform the life of a person on the transplant waiting list. Every opportunity for donation is precious, so we hope the forthcoming law change will prompt people to think about their donation decision, record it and importantly, share it.

“Donation remains a personal decision and under the new law, people will be able to choose if
they want to be a donor or not. Whatever decision you make, it is important to discuss it with your family – they will still be consulted on your views and having that knowledge will make it easier for them to honour your decision on organ and tissue donation.”
For more about the law change, or to opt out, visit or call 0300 303

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