A new law requiring people to opt out as organ donors will come into force in May.

The Government announced yesterday that, subject to parliamentary approval, Max and Keira’s Law – the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act – will come into effect on the 20 May 2020.

The news has been welcomed by St Bees mother Emma-Jayne Taylor, whose daughter, Katy Taylor-Hamilton, was given a lifesaving heart transplant on January 7, 2017.

Now, three years later, Katy, 23, has been chosen in the Team GB in the world Transplant Games.

Emma-Jayne said her daughter was put on the transplant list on December 16th 2016 and by Christmas Eve was suffering heart failure.

On January 7 she received the organ transplant that would save her life and Emma said this new law would also save lives.

But she said it was still important to have "the conversation” with family and loved ones.

“It is important to talk about what you want to do and make sure everyone understands,” she said.

Anthony Clarkson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, agreed: “We hope that the new law encourages more people to record their donation decision and talk about organ donation with their families. It is important for people to know that they can do this at any time before or after the law comes into effect, there is no deadline for making your donation decision."

As soon as the law changes, all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate, what’s known as ‘opt out’, or are in one of the excluded groups.

Those excluded will be people under 18, those who lack the mental capacity to understand the new arrangements and take the necessary action; and people who have lived in England for less than 12 months or who are not living here voluntarily.

Wales already has an opt out system, after changing their law in December 2015. Jersey introduced the opt out system in July 2019 and Scotland will also be moving to an opt out system from Autumn 2020.