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Harrogate man raising awareness of organ donation law change

Harrogate man raising awareness of organ donation law change

Published by Harry Long at 6:45am 20th May 2020.

A man from Harrogate, who had a kidney and pancreas transplant, is raising awareness of organ donation - on the day the law affecting it changes.   

  • A Harrogate man who had a double transplant is raising awareness of organ donation.  
  • It's on the day the law affecting it changes.  
  • In future people will have to 'opt-out' of organ donation, rather than opting in.  

From today, people will have to 'opt-out' of organ donation, rather than opting in.  

It means all adults in England will be considered an organ donor when they die, unless they record a decision not to donate or fall into one of the excluded groups.  

Mark Smith won the Bravery Award at Stray FM's Local Hero Awards in 2016.  

Despite the coronavirus outbreak, Mark has continued to fundraise and raise awareness of the law change.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith with the Bravery Award in 2016

Mark said:

"The significant part of the change is what we call presumed consent.  That means, from today,  people who do organ donation transplants will assume that people who are eligible for donating organs, that they have given consent."

Mark says there are some misconceptions around the change in the law:

"This law change isn't telling people that we are going to take your organs and you have no choice in it.  All the law change means is that we are getting people to have a think about what happens to their organs should the worst happen, and it's encourgaing people to engage in that conversation." 

You can find out more at the NHS Blood and Transplant site.