IN SCOTLAND, 778 people are on the transplant waiting list; sadly, some of them will die while they are waiting whilst others will have died without even reaching the waiting list. Meanwhile, repeated studies show that up to 90 per cent of the population supports organ donation, yet less than a third have signed up to the organ donor register. Repeated efforts to increase donation rates have had limited success, but still patients wait.
The BMA has long advocated for a shift to a “soft” opt-out system, which, if properly implemented with adequate resources and staff, and backed up by a high-profile publicity campaign, could save or transform thousands of lives.
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has produced a short survey to gather views on what elements should be included in its post-2013 organ donation strategy. I would encourage everyone to take part, whatever their opinion, so that the NHSBT’s new strategy on organ donation will reflect the views of Scottish people. The survey can be accessed online at: www.research.net/s/organdonationpost2013
Dr Sue Robertson, Deputy Chair, BMA’s Scottish Staff and Associate Specialist Committee, Edinburgh