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07 August 2018, 01:26 | Silvia Roy
Image An NHS Organ Donor Register card
The new system presumes that over-18s in England are in favour of donating their organs when they die, instead of the current system where people opt in by signing the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Jackie Doyle-Price, Secretary of State for Mental Health and Inequalities, said the changes could save up to 700 lives every year, but she said organ donation remained a gift.
There will be exceptions to the presumed consent system, including those aged under 18, individuals who lack the mental capacity to understand the changes and people who have not lived in England for at least 12 months before their death.
Currently, Wales already operates such a system, Scotland is looking to introduce a similar scheme, and Northern Ireland is also considering it.
The move comes after 411 people in the United Kingdom died while waiting for a transplant in 2017.
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The announcement came after a report called on the NHS to take more proactive action to address the high death rate among Indian-origin people in Britain due to low levels of organ donation within the community.
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Those who do not wish to donate can record this on the NHS register either online, by phone or on an app to be released by the end of the year.
"This new system of organ donation presents us with an opportunity to save hundreds of black, Asian, mixed race and ethnic minority lives".
'However, we know this new system alone is not a magic bullet.
The legislation was introduced in Parliament last July and is expected to return to the House of Commons in the autumn. "Of course, the reason why the government have shifted from the opt-in to the opt-out position is to increase donations - which is a good thing, but done in a way which is at risk of being done by slight of hand".
Grieving families are given the choice if a patient's wish to donate is not known - but less than half give consent for the organs to be donated.
Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: "There is a desperate shortage of organ donors in the UK".
The country began a voluntary organ donation trial in 2010 and promoted the practice across the country in 2013.
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