provide for an organ donation scheme based upon presumed consent; to make
provision in relation to safeguards for such a scheme; and for connected
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
Presumption of consent for donation of organs
Where a person has not during his lifetime registered an objection to his body,
or any specified part of his body, being donated for transplantation after his
death it shall be presumed that he consented to such a donation—
except where the designated person is satisfied, on the basis of
information provided by a person’s spouse or partner (or, where there
is no spouse or partner, by a parent or child of the deceased), that the
person had expressed an objection to donation that had not been
to proceed with the donation would cause distress to the person‘s
spouse or partner (or, where there is no spouse or partner, to a parent
or child of the deceased).
In the case of a person aged under 18 years there shall be no presumption of
consent, and donation may proceed only if the designated person is satisfied
that such donation is in accordance with the wishes of that person or with the
consent of that person’s parents or other primary carer.
Register of objection to transplantation of organs
There shall be a register of those persons who object to their organs being used
Where it is intended to remove any organ of a deceased person for the
purposes of transplantation, the register established under subsection (1) must
be consulted to determine whether the person had registered an objection.
Where a person is found to have registered an objection under subsection (2)
no removal of organs may be permitted.
Regulations shall make provision relating to the register established under
subsection (1) and in particular in connection with—
the manner in which a person is able to register an objection;
the manner in which the register must be consulted before the removal
of organs for transplantation.
Regulations under subsection (4) shall be made by statutory instrument.
A statutory instrument containing regulations under subsection (5) may not be
made unless a draft of it has been laid before and approved by resolution of the
Death of person donating organs
No organs may be removed from a person whose organs are intended to be
used for transplantation unless two registered medical practitioners have
satisfied themselves that the person is dead.
“designated person” means the person with control and management of
the hospital of institution concerned;
“death” means the irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness,
combined with irreversible loss of the capacity to breathe, determined
by permanent cessation of heartbeat or, where the heartbeat is
maintained artificially, by brain stem tests carried out in accordance
with the criteria set out by the Conference of Royal Colleges (and
“dead” shall be construed accordingly).
There shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament any expenditure of the
Secretary of State in consequence of this Act.
Short title, commencement and extent
This Act may be cited as the Organ Donation (Presumed Consent) Act 2009.
This Act shall come into force three years after the date on which it receives
This Act extends to England and Wales only.