Organ donation opt-out law change

The law around organ donation in Northern Ireland is changing.

From Spring 2023, the organ donation system will become an opt-out system. This means, in the event that organ donation is a possibility after you die, it will be considered that you agree to being an organ donor unless you opt-out.

On 9 February 2022, the Organ and Tissue Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill passed the final stage of consideration in the Northern Ireland Assembly. 

This will change the organ donation system in Northern Ireland next year, to a soft opt-out system.  The law will be known as ‘Dáithí’s Law’, in recognition of five-year-old Dáithí Mac Gabhann who has been on the waiting list for a heart transplant since 2018.

Dáithí’s Law will come into effect from Spring 2023. 

A soft opt-out system means, in the event that organ donation is a possibility after you die, it will be considered that you agree to being an organ donor unless you have registered a decision not to donate, or are in an excluded group*. 

If you do not want to become an organ donor then you will need to opt out on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
You can do this at any time up to and after the law change in Spring 2023.

Organ donation is a personal decision and you still have a choice if you wish to donate or not.

Whatever you decide, please remember to talk to loved ones about your decision so they will know what you would have wanted.

For more information on the law change, or to register a decision to opt out, please visit www.organdonationni.info

*Excluded groups include:

  • Those under the age of 18
  • People who lack the mental capacity
  • Visitors to Northern Ireland
  • Temporary residents
Last updated 6 months ago