This House of Lords Library Briefing provides an overview of the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill which is due to receive its second reading in the House of Lords on 23 November 2018.
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The Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill is a private member’s bill which would provide for an opt-out consent system for organ and tissue donation in England. Under this system, an adult would be deemed to have consented to organ and tissue donation before their death unless they have expressly stated that they do not wish to be a donor or an exception applies. However, the bill would not apply to all organs and tissues, with those transplants which are currently rare or that many may not regard as novel to be excluded in regulations set out by the Secretary of State. In addition, the bill does not propose any changes to organ donation rules for children under 18 or people who have expressly decided on consent before their death.
The bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 19 July 2017 by Geoffrey Robinson (Labour MP for Coventry North West). The bill received its second reading on 23 February 2018 and completed its stages with cross-party support in the House of Commons on 26 October 2018. The bill was introduced in the House of Lords on 29 October 2018 and is due to have its second reading on 23 November 2018 under the sponsorship of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath (Labour). Although it is not a government bill, the Department of Health and Social Care has produced the bill’s explanatory notes, with the consent of Lord Hunt.