MSP's backing for soft opt-out organ donation plans

Steawart Stevenson says he has have been an advocate of the plans, which he believes is great news for our health service.
Steawart Stevenson says he has have been an advocate of the plans, which he believes is great news for our health service.

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has backed the Scottish Government’s decision to introduce legislation for a soft opt-out system of organ and tissue donation.

The move was backed by 82% of those who had contributed towards the consultation.

During a 14-week period of consultation, various ways were assessed of how to increase the number of people being referred to the donation services in Scotland.

In Scotland both organ and/or tissue donation after a person’s death only occurs if they have given advance authorisation or if their nearest relative authorises on their behalf.

But 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.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said: “The decision to legislate for a soft opt-out system is great news for our health service.

“I have long been an advocate of this, which I believe is great news for our health service.

“With the incredible help of donors and their families, NHS Scotland has already made great progress, including a 34% 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 Banffshire and Buchan 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.”