Scotland

Call for first minister to support organ donation bill

surgical operation

A Labour MSP has called on the first minister to support the introduction of her organ donation bill later.

Anne McTaggart's Organ Donation (Scotland) Bill has secured cross-party support, and is backed by 22 Labour MSPs, four SNP, two Lib Dems and one each from the Conservatives and Greens.

The Bill proposes to change the current "opt-in" system of organ donation.

It would mean people would have to opt out or their name would be added to the NHS Organ Donation Register.

Ms McTaggart said: "I would encourage those MSPs who have previously indicated that they support a change - including Nicola Sturgeon - to back us and change the lives of those people on organ waiting lists.

"With three people dying every day across the UK, we simply cannot afford to wait any longer on this issue."

Positive approach

She added: "Promoting organ donation is vital but on its own it will not deliver the much-needed increase in organs that we need just now and that's why my Bill is essential.

"It represents a shift to a more positive, proactive approach which will save people's lives."

A Scottish government spokesman said: "This government is committed to continuing to increase donation and transplantation rates in Scotland and continue the success that the Donation and Transplantation Plan for Scotland 2013-2020 is already delivering.

"Thanks to these efforts, the numbers of donors in Scotland have increased significantly and the number of people waiting for a transplant has fallen by 25% in the last seven years.

"Whilst we welcome any debate in relation to the important issues of organ donation and transplant, we do need to examine the evaluation of the impact of opt-out on organ donation on Wales before making a decision on any changes within Scotland.

"This is because there is not, as yet, a consensus amongst experts as to whether opt-out will make a significant difference, and the international evidence is not clear."

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