Giving the gift of life will be easier in near future
MSP backs soft opt-out system
Airdrie & Shotts MSP Alex Neil has welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to introduce legislation for a soft opt-out system of organ donation.
A recent consultation looked at various ways to increase the number of people being referred to the donation services in Scotland. The move has been backed by 82 per cent of those who contributed to the 14-week consultation process.
Currently in Scotland, organ and tissue donation after a person’s death only occurs if they have given advance authorisation or if their nearest relative authorises on their behalf.
A soft opt-out, or deemed authorisation system, means that a donation can go ahead if the person has not opted out or told their family they do not wish to donate.
Mr Neil said: “The decision to legislate for a soft opt-out system is great news for our health service.
“With the amazing help of donors and their families, NHS Scotland has already made great progress, including a 34 per cent increase in donors this past year alone.
“Scotland now has the highest donor rate in the UK. However, we can do better and moving to a soft opt-out system is a really important step towards further reducing the number of people in Airdrie & Shotts waiting for transplants.
“We should always keep in mind the tragic circumstances that give rise to organ donation and forever appreciate the selfless acts of donors and their families that enable others to live. Organ and tissue donation saves lives and is one of the greatest gifts a person can give.”
Later this month North Lanarkshire will host the Transplant Games, with more than 750 athletes and 1500 supporters expected to attend.
Monklands will play a central role in the games, with the opening ceremony to be held in Summerlee and Lochview golf centre and Coatbridge indoor bowling club being used as venues.
● Coatbridge residents give their views on the opt-out system on page 36.
Vital support North Lanarkshire will host the Transplant Games this month