MSP in plea on organ donation reform

An opt-out system is under discussion at Holyrood.
An opt-out system is under discussion at Holyrood.
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A PLAN to move to an opt-out system for organ donations could increase the rate of donations by almost a third in Scotland, an MSP has claimed.

Labour MSP Anne McTaggart told Holyrood’s health Committee that her Transplantation Bill was “absolutely” necessary as the current opt-in arrangement “is not working”.

The legislation proposes a move from a system in which people have to actively join the NHS Organ Donation Register to a ‘’soft’’ opt-out approach in an effort to tackle a shortage of organs.

Under the new system, the family of the deceased will be asked if they had expressed any objections during their lifetime.

Ms McTaggart told the committee: “We do need to increase transplantation.

“The first-quarter figures for this year show that we are heading for an even bigger decrease in deceased donor rates of 10%.

“We have to do something different, whatever we are doing just now is not working.

“International evidence shows us that a 25% to 30% increase will happen if we move to a soft opt-out system.”

Under the plans, organs and tissues could be removed from an adult after death if they had not registered or expressed an objection during their lifetime.