Organ donation

The law around organ donation is changing in spring 2023

The organ donation system in Northern Ireland is changing to an opt-out system. This will mean, in the event that organ donation is a possibility after you die, it will be considered all adults agree to being an organ donor unless they choose to opt-out.

The new law will be known as ‘Daíthí’s Law’ after 5-year-old organ donation campaigner Daíthí Mac Gabhann, who is awaiting the gift of a new heart.

You can choose to register a decision not to donate on the NHS Organ Donor Register, and the new law will not apply to those aged under 18 or who are in an excluded group*.

The Public Health Agency has launched a public information campaign to raise awareness of the law change before it comes into effect next spring. The campaign is urging people to find out more about the law change and about organ donation, consider their organ donation decision, and then register and discuss their decision with loved ones.  Whatever your choice, talking to family is a really important way for them to support your decision should the situation arise.

While 90% of people in Northern Ireland support organ donation, only 51% of people have registered their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register, so the change in law will make it easier for those who support organ donation to say ‘yes’ to giving the ‘gift of life’.

* Those groups excluded from the new deemed consent legislation include:

  • Those under the age of 18
  • People who lack the mental capacity to understand the change in law
  • Visitors to Northern Ireland
  • Temporary residents

To find out more about the law change or to register a decision not to donate, visit

You can also stay up to date on Daíthí's Law and learn more about organ donation on our social channels @OrganDonationNI

    Last updated 2 weeks 5 days ago