Consultation outcome

Introducing ‘opt-out’ consent for organ and tissue donation in England

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Detail of outcome

Following approval of our regulations and code of practice by Parliament, deemed consent became legal in England on 20 May 2020.

The consultation outcome document details our analysis of the 17,000 consultation responses. It outlines the government’s proposals for a new system of organ and tissue donation consent.

The proposals are summarised as follows:

  • from spring 2020, everybody will be considered willing to donate their organs after they die unless they have recorded a decision not to do so or are in an excluded group
  • the public will be given time to consider the impact of this change and the government will launch a national media campaign to raise awareness
  • while the default position will change, there will always be a discussion involving the family, the specialist nurse, and clinicians, if donation is a possibility on someone’s death
  • since faith often plays an important part in one’s organ donation decision, we have proposed measures to make sure people feel confident that their faith will be considered, if they sign up to be a donor
  • people will be able to record their decision on the NHS app from the end of 2018, which will make the register more accessible

Original consultation


The government wants views from as many people as possible on plans to make it easier for people to give consent to be an organ donor.

This consultation was held on another website.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

We have launched a consultation about organ and tissue donation. The government wants to know what people think about proposed changes in which people are considered willing to be an organ donor after their death, unless they have ‘opted out’.

We want to find out what people think of how the changes to the system should be made, and what else they think the government needs to consider.

The defining issues of the new system are:

  • how much say families have in their deceased relative’s decision to donate their organs
  • when exemptions to ‘opt-out’ would be needed, and what safeguards would be necessary
  • how a new system might affect certain groups depending on age, disability, race or faith


Published 12 December 2017
Last updated 5 August 2018 + show all updates
  1. The consultation outcome has been added, along with a quick read version, an impact assessment and a focus goup report.

  2. First published.