Labour urge SNP to back organ donation bill

Picture: EPA

Picture: EPA

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A Labour MSP has called on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to support the introduction of her organ donation bill tomorrow.

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

The Bill proposes to change the current ‘’opt-in’’ system of organ donation in Scotland, whereby those wishing to become a donor can add their name to the NHS Organ Donation Register.

The change would mean people have to opt out instead of opting in to the organ donation register.

Member’s Bills require the support of 18 MSPs from three parties to get a hearing in Parliament.

Ms McTaggart is now calling on others to back her bill tomorrow.

She said: “I would like to thank the MSPs of all parties who have signed up to support this life-saving bill.

READ MORE: Comment: Why organ donation is important

“I would now 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.

“With supporters for this simple change from across the chamber, we have a unique opportunity to take action now.

“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.

“As highlighted by the British Heart Foundation, it could take another 13 years to address organ donor shortages without a change to a ‘soft opt-out’ system.

“In the meantime, people are dying and those left behind are suffering.”

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