Rhoda Grant encourages responses to Organ Donation consultation

7 December 2016

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, is encouraging people to respond to the Scottish Government’s consultation on increasing the number of organ and tissue donors in Scotland.
 
Launched today, the consultation asks people to give their views on measures including the introduction of a soft opt-out system for organ donation, similar to legislation which has been introduced in Wales and has seen dozens of lives saved since it came into effect in December last year.

Under an opt-out system, organs could be removed from a dead person if they had not registered or expressed an objection during their lifetime.  

People have to opt in under the current system which includes signing up to the Organ Donor Register.

In 2015-16, despite 183 deceased and living organ donors and 415 people from Scotland receiving transplants, there were still 542 people on the active transplant waiting list.

Mrs Grant who has worked in partnership with organ recipient Kirsty Rawle (who went on to become a mum), NHS Highland and players from Ross County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle football clubs to raise awareness of organ donation, said “Blood, organ and stem cell donation saves lives.  

Any change in legislation which brings about an increase in donations has to be welcomed and I would encourage people to respond to the consultation.

Mrs Grant continued,

“I had hoped the Scottish Government would have backed the Transplantation Bill put forward by my former colleague, Anne McTaggart, earlier this year but they didn’t.  

"This consultation provides another opportunity for progress to be made on this and I very much hope advancement comes from this and the law is changed accordingly to save more lives.”

 Details of the 14-week consultation can be found via the following link -

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/12/3657/2

The Transplantation (Authorisation of Removal of Organs etc.) (Scotland) Bill was formally introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 1st June 2015 and was voted down by 59 votes to 56 in February 2016.

BMA Scotland supports the move to a soft opt-out system.