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Change in the law on organ donation

From 26 March 2021, there will be a new system for organ and tissue donation after death. This is an 'opt out' system. Most adults who have not opted in or out of donation during their lifetime will be assumed to agree to donation. 

If you don’t want to donate your organs or tissue, then you need to 'opt out' to ensure that this doesn’t happen.  

Some people will not be assumed to agree to donation. These are: 

  • children under 16
  • adults who don’t have the mental capacity to agree
  • adults who have lived in Scotland for less than 12 months. 

People who aren’t assumed to agree to donation can only donate if they have given authorisation while they were alive or someone authorises donation after their death. For adults, authorisation can be given by the nearest relative. For children, authorisation can be given by someone who had parental rights and responsibilities for the child.  

Find out more about organ donation on the Organ Donation Scotland website.