British citizens will automatically be organ donors from next year unless they record their decision to ‘opt out’, as consent laws have received the go-ahead to change.
Last week the Queen gave royal assent to a bill known as Max and Keira’s Law named so after the boy who received a heart transplant and the girl who donated it.
The Government estimates the change will save hundreds of lives each year, and it replaces the existing voluntary opt-in scheme.
Max’s family has worked tirelessly to change the law even before his successful heart transplant in 2017.
The schoolboy had made his own emotional appeal to the Prime Minister after his mum called for a nationwide “opt out” clause to the register.
LIFE SAVING SURGERY
Max suffered with a dilated cardiomyopathy, meaning his life relies on complex medical machinery and a permanent stay in hospital.
He was fighting for his life at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and needed a transplant to save him.
His life changed when he received the much-needed organ from Keira, who died three days after she was injured in a horrific car crash near her home in Devon.
She saved four lives in total, including another young boy who received her pancreas and liver.
Following the life-saving surgery that left a six-inch scar on his chest, Max told the Mirror: “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.”
Theresa May said she was “delighted” the Organ Donation Act has passed and paid tribute to Max and Keira.
The Prime Minister said in a statement outside the Commons: “It marks a momentous step for thousands of people in need of a life-saving transplant, and could save as many as 700 lives a year.
“With significantly more people willing to consider organ donation than are actually registered as donors, this vital step will presume consent unless people choose to opt out of being a donor.