For the thousands of people waiting on an organ in England and their family and friends, the news that MPs voted in favour of a change in the law towards presumed consent will be very welcome.
After many years of campaigning, this is a positive step given that over the past decade, hundreds of people in the North East have died while awaiting an organ transplant and every day, there is a similar picture throughout the rest of the UK.
Ultimately, an opt-out system will maximise the number of lives that can be saved by making it easier for those wishing to donate to do so - something that will be a source of comfort and hope for many.
Dr John Chisholm
BMA medical ethics committee chairman