Around three million people in the UK have kidney disease

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Queen grants Royal Assent to organ donation bill

Queen grants Royal Assent to organ donation bill by Maria Tennant

15 March 2019

The Queen has granted Royal Assent to the new organ donation bill, known as Max and Keira’s Law. The announcement was made in the House of Lords today, and means presumed consent will come into force in England next year. Consent will be presumed unless people have opted out, but bereaved families will still have the final say in what happens to their loved one’s organs.

The new legislation is named after Max, a boy who received a heart transplant and Keira, whose heart he received when she died.

As part of the Kidney Charities Together Group, we say: “With 8 out of 10 people on the waiting list needing a kidney transplant, this is life-changing news. There has been a huge amount of public support for Max and Keira’s Law, and it’s inspiring to see so much focus on organ donation over the last 18 months. Although this change is a major boost for kidney patients waiting for a transplant, it is only the first step.

“We must urgently improve infrastructure and clinical practice to make sure that, if the number of organs being donated rises as a result of the Bill, they are not wasted and reach the people with kidney disease that need them. And crucially, we must all continue to focus on ensuring transplanted organs work better and last longer.

“For now, we must keep the momentum going and support the change in the law with an increased focus on awareness and education. Whatever choice people make about whether to donate their organs, let’s keep the conversation going and make sure all of our loved ones know how we feel and the decision we have taken.”

We are one of four leading UK charities in the Kidney Charities Together group alongside The National Kidney Federation, Kidney Care UK, and the Polycystic Kidney Disease Charity. We work together to raise awareness of kidney disease and co-ordinate the World Kidney Day campaign activities in the UK every year.

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