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Organ donation in the Isle of Man

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Organ donation law in the Isle of Man is changing. We will soon be moving to an opt-out system. Find out what this means for you and your family by reading the information below.

The Organ Donation Bill 2020

Known as ‘Daniel’s Law’, the Human Tissue and Organ Donation Bill 2020 was introduced in memory of Daniel Boyde, a 15-year-old boy whose organs were donated after he died in a car accident.

Its purpose is to modernise the law relating to consent for the use of organs and other human tissues for transplant activities. The ‘opt out’ consent system will mean that it will be considered that individuals agree to become an organ donor when they die if they are over 18 years of age, have not opted out and are not in an ‘excluded group’.

Daniel’s Law received royal assent in July 2021 and preparations are now underway to implement the Act. The full Act is available to view online.

When it will be in place

Now that Daniel’s Law has received Royal assent, we are one step closer to an opt-out system of organ donation registration. There are numerous operational and legislative steps to take before it is enacted, including:

  • Drafting and approval of 8 codes of practice
  • Drafting and approval of secondary legislation
  • Stakeholder consultation
  • Public consultation
  • Public campaign to raise awareness
  • Systems and procedure training for all relevant healthcare staff

The timeline below shows key milestones leading up to the implementation of the Act. It is difficult to say when this work will be completed and the Act actually implemented as implementation is complex, and we need to ensure that we are getting it right. Work has been ongoing since the Act received Royal Assent, and funding has been secured to continue the implementation.

Human Tissue and Organ Donation Act Proposed Timeline, a text alternative is available below.

Stage 1 – Funding agreed

  • Reconvene steering group
  • Project lead appointed
  • HTA contract signed
  • Codes drafted
  • Engage government stakeholders

Stage 2 – Consultation begins

  • Public consultation on codes (6 weeks)
  • Summary of responses (codes)
  • Public campaign commences (runs for 12 months)

Stage 3 – Consultation continues

  • Public consultation on secondary (6 weeks)
  • Summary of responses (secondary)

Stage 4 – Approval

  • Cabinet Board approval
  • Council of Ministers approval
  • Lay before Tynwald
  • HTA, Manx Care and NHSBT training complete

Stage 5 – Implementation

  • Human Tissue and Organ Donation Act implemented

What the new law will mean for you

At the moment, you are required to opt in in order to record your decision to be an organ donor, but once the new law is implemented, it will mean that unless you have opted out, you will be considered to have consented to organ donation. You still have a choice about whether you want to be an organ donor and your family will still be consulted. The best thing you can do now is to register your decision via the Organ Donor Register where you can opt in, opt out, withdraw or amend a registration, and talk to your family about your decision.

You can do this now and update or amend it at any time.

Published: February 2024

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