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Organ donation

Humanists want to help people enjoy and make the most of the one life we have. Humanists don’t believe in an afterlife, and see the only meaning of life as the meaning we make for ourselves, and it’s for this reason we try to promote happiness and strive to make a better world in the here and now. From this point of view, organ donation can be seen as a beautiful way to help others even after you’ve died. It is one last, final act of charity.

In order to save as many lives as possible, we campaigned for the UK to a move to an ‘opt-out’ organ donor register; this reflects the reality that most people are happy to donate their organs after they die but never get around to registering. It allows for people to still opt out, including for religious reasons. Additionally, many people decide to become living organ donors. The new opt-out system has become law in Wales (in 2015), Jersey (2019), England (2020), and Scotland (2021). Similar laws were passed in Guernsey (2020) and the Isle of Man (2021), which await implementation. We continue to campaign for the same change in Northern Ireland (where legislation has been introduced in 2021).

We’ve provided some helpful links below, including ways of promoting awareness of organ donation laws. Life is a gift, so please – pass it on.

Organ donation awareness

Awareness campaign

Humanists UK patron Jamie Theakston calls organ donation ‘one of the kindest things you can ever do’.

Watch and share.

Opt in in Northern Ireland

Opt in in Northern Ireland

Would-be donors in Northern Ireland still need to opt in.

Opt in for organ donation now.

Visit the NHS Blood and Transplant website

Visit NHS Blood and Transplant

The NHS Blood and Transplant website has everything you need to know about becoming an organ donor once you’re gone, and donating blood to help in the here and now.

Visit the NHSBT website.

What the change means for you

What the change means for you

We’ve prepared a helpful explainer for just what the new system in England means for you.

Get informed.

How did we get here?

How did we get here?

See how Humanists UK helped to secure an opt-out organ donation policy across the UK.

See the history.

Download your humanist organ donation card from the NHS

Humanist organ donation cards

Download a digital donor card, paper print-out, or smartphone wallpaper direct from the NHS.

Show your support.

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