The UK has seen a change in its organ donation laws, stating that all legally-able citizens are organ donors unless they explicitly express their intent to opt-out.
According to the UK Express, the new mandate is expected to produce more than 700 additional organ transplants every year by 2023. The change, which is named Max and Keira's Law, was inspired by the story of two young children: Max Johnson and Keira Ball.
A story to inspire and save lives
Keira Ball was a 9-year-old girl that lost her life after fighting for three days in the wake of a catastrophic car accident near her home that left her with severe head injuries in July 2017.
A total of four people were saved by Keira's organ transplants, including one boy named Max Johnson, ten years old, struggling with his heart, and fighting for his life at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
Fortunately, Max was the recipient of Keira's heart, which was a match, and it was transplanted into him in an operation that saved his life.
Max then went on to campaign for the change in the law after he and three others were given a second chance in life due to Keira's donations.
Previously, if an adult were to lose their life, their organs wouldn't be available for donations unless they opted in with their consent while they were living. This resulted in several potential donors not being able to give out their organs due to not being able to register on the organ donation list, as stated by BBC.
Max and Keira's inspiring story has touched the hearts of politicians to revise the law, which aimed to save countless lives.
The new law states that every adult in England will be presumed to have given their consent to organ donation when they die unless they express their intent of not being an organ donation or are part of a group that is not allowed to be donors.
The available organs to be donated include the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and small bowel while also being able to donate your tissues, which include your cornea and bone.
Some conditions, however, may prevent you from donating your organs at all. The conditions include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the ebola virus, any active cancer, active coronavirus, and HIV.
A change for the better
The system now requires one to opt-out, which is expected to save countless more lives moving forward and increase organ donations by more than 700 annually, starting in 2023.
Minimum age of 18 years is required to be allowed to go on the register, so for anyone who is below the threshold and wants to state their intent, they would have to talk about it with their parents who will still have the final say in their decision.
Families of the deceased will still have the final say in organ donation and can express the wishes of their late members if they were unwilling to donate their organs, and no transplant will be conducted.
Loanna Ball, Keira's mom, has stated that the new law will enable her daughter to outlive her by residing in someone else's body. She told Emma Barnett from BBC Radio 5 Live that "Keira was just such a special child and what she's done is just incredible," and that "We're blown away, and she inspires me every single day."