Organ or tissue donation following a death

Organ donation is possible after some deaths. Tissue or cornea donation is possible after many deaths.

There is an ‘opt-out’ system in England and Wales. This means adults are considered to have agreed to be a donor when they die, unless they have recorded a decision not to donate.

If the medical profession is considering using a part of a body, a specialist nurse will talk to close relatives to inform them of what is planned and to discuss whether they support the decision. The faiths and beliefs of the person who died should always be respected.

Organs or tissue are removed with care and do not delay burial or cremation arrangements or affect ability to see a body.

If a person has died under the age of 18, the family will be asked to make a decision on donation.

If you want to find out if donation is possible or happening, but haven’t been contacted by medical staff, you need to act quickly (usually within 24 hours, although sometimes up to 48 hours, after the death).

For organ donation call 0300 123 23 23

For tissue donation call 0800 432 0559

For more information, go to