Joy as ‘opt out’ organ donation sytem passed into law
- Credit: Steve Gazzard
Campaigner Steve Gazzard has hailed the new Organ Donor Act 2019 as ‘Sarah’s Law’ in memory of his later daughter Sarah Wright
The wishes of organ donor’s will become paramount thanks to a newly-passed law, says campaigner Steve Gazzard.
The Exmouth dad has been lobbying for the law, which means all adults will be deemed as organ donors unless they opt out, since his daughter Sarah Wright died in 2012 while waiting for a double lung transplant.
He said he had ‘quite a few tears’ in his eyes when news broke that the Organ Donation Act 2019 had been given royal assent meaning it is now law.
Steve said: “We are delighted it’s actually going to happen.
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“It s a great tribute to Sarah as far as we are concerned and we will be calling it Sarah’s law.
“The main thing is that the donors’ wishes will be paramount.”
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When Sarah died seven years ago, Steve, who is also a town and district councillor, vowed to continue the campaign his daughter started to get the law changed.
Once it comes into force he will switch his focus to raising funds for Sarah’s chosen charity – The British Lung Foundation.
He said: “There are still more than 6,000 people that are desperate for a transplant.
“The other side of our campaign is fundraising for the British Lung Foundation so we will be putting more effort into that.”
The new law amends the Human Tissue Act 2004 so any adult is deemed to give consent for the organs to be donated unless they opt out.
This will apply to all adults unless someone in a ‘qualifying relationship to the person concerned immediately before death’ can give information that would lead a reasonable person to believe they would not have consented.
Those who had not ordinarily been a resident of the UK for at least a year prior to death would be exempt from deemed consent as would someone who ‘lacked capacity to understand’ the effect of the law.
The new legislation does not change rules on consent relating to children under the age of 18 or those who have made a decision on organ donation prior to death.
Steve said his regular organ donor sign-up events will continue in the Magnolia Centre.