Two kidneys were given to two adults. One liver was given to one baby. One heart was given to one Max. All because of one road traffic accident in August 2017, in which Kiera Ball died at age 9. 


Her family chose to donate her organs because they believed that this is what she would have truly wanted. This allowed Max Johnson, aged 9, to receive a life-saving heart transplant. Subsequently, his cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle disease, was prevented from worsening. 


He had been waitlisted for 8 whole months, and instead of giving up, instead of moping around and instead of crying about his situation, he became an inspiration. Max shared his story and campaigned in favour of an opt-out system for organ donation, where people are automatically enrolled to donate organs. It is now predicted to save over 700 more lives each year and will be implemented in Spring 2020. Due to Max and Kiera’s part in the situation, the law became known as the Max and Kiera, and the opt-out law.


Even though you are automatically enrolled into donating organs, you do still have the choice of whether you donate or not, and which organs you want to donate. A student stated “my eyes have seen my journey and my life.” Would she want to donate those, I'm not so sure?


Automatic enrollment for becoming an organ donor after death has been thoroughly questioned by many. So is it wrong for the government to choose this, to decide this without letting the people play a part in the decision? Was the old system, where you had to sign yourself up, better than the new opt-out system, where you are automatically enrolled? 


The opt-out system uses the idea of presumed consent, in which the NHS assumes you agree until you say you don't, for organ donation after death. However, consent is something that shows agreement explicitly and clearly, so does that make presumed consent wrong? The answer to that is no. Even though consent is not given explicitly, it is given implicitly, and this is still consent nonetheless. 


By not objecting to organ donation in the opt-out system, your silence is implicit consent. Therefore, this makes me believe that even though we are automatically enrolled in the opt-out system, everyone is given the choice to accept that or not, even if your consent is presumed in the first place.


In England, 80% of the population currently support organ donation, but only 30% have signed up. Think about how many people's lives could be saved if the rest of the 43% signed up as well. 


Organ donation is one of the greatest developments in science and saves hundreds of lives each year. People get a new chance to live, explore and thrive in life. By being a part of the change, you are doing one of the greatest things a human can ever do - help out.


Priyal Dhanjal