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New UK Law Makes All Adults in England Automatically Organ Donors




  • The law was named “Max and Keira’s Law” after Keira Ball whose organs were donated and helped save four people’s lives.
  • All adults will be assumed organ donors after their death, unless they opted out of it.
  • Keira’s parents hope that the government will educate people about the issue pf organ transplant.

Because of a “game-changing” law, now every adult in England will be automatically considered as an organ donor when they die, unless they specifically specified they don’t want to or if they are part of the group excluded from the said law.

Known as “Max and Keira’s Law,” the new legislation was created after the case of Keira Ball, a nine-year-old girl who died in a car crash in 2017. With her father’s permission, Keira’s organs were used for transplants, which saved the life of another nine-year-old, Max Johnson, and three other people.

Keira Ball’s heart was transplanted to Max Johnson and her other organs were given to three other people.

Legislators believe that the new law can result to additional 700 transplants each year by 2023.

The system could be delayed, however, because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, according to health minister Lord Bethell.

“The legislation will come into effect on May 20. However, we acknowledge that this may not come into practice straight away due to the limitations of Covid,” he told the House of Lords on May 25.

Because of safety concerns, transplants are being put on hold during the pandemic. Only 99 transplant operations happened this April, according to figures from NHS Blood and Transplant. This is a drastic cut from the 244 transplants performed in March.

Keira’s organs were donated with the permission of dad Joe, here with her mother Loanna.

The new organ donation law was inspired by the efforts of Max and his family in campaigning in favor of an opt-out system. Before, patients will have to opt-in before being considered as organ donors.

It led to the creation of Max’s Law, but Max requested to have Keira’s name added to it.

Keira’s mom, Loanna, said, “If your child needed an organ to survive, you would do whatever you could to try and get an organ. So you have to look on the flip side, if you’re going to receive an organ you have to be prepared to give one.”

Keira’s dad, Joe, never thought about organ donation during that time because they were expecting that Keira would pull through.

Keira’s parents, Joe and Loanna, meeting Max.

He added that he understood the concern of other parents regarding the appearance of their child after organ donation. He revealed that they received inquiries from parents asking such.

“Keira looked perfect after her organs were donated – you would not be able to tell the difference. She didn’t look broken,” Joe said.

Joe used a stethoscope to hear Keira’s heart beating inside Max.

The couple hopes that the UK government will continue to educate people about organ donation and help dispel misconceptions surrounding it. Joe encouraged people who are considering to donate their organs to speak to their family and friends about it.

“If people feel so strongly about organ donation, then they will make the effort to opt-out but people who are on the fence may not opt-out. Hopefully this will guarantee that more organs will be available.”

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