Giv­ing the gift of life will be eas­ier in near fu­ture

MSP backs soft opt-out sys­tem

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - Gra­ham Miller

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

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