MSP and charity join forces to spread Opt Out message

CAMPAIGNERS took their message to the Glasgow public asking if they would support a change to Scotland's transplant system.

Loading Comments
MSP Anne McTaggart, front, third from left, and David McColgan visit the BHF Furniture and Electric shop in Dumbarton Road, Glasgow, to meet its staff and volunteers. Picture: Stewart Attwood
MSP Anne McTaggart, front, third from left, and David McColgan visit the BHF Furniture and Electric shop in Dumbarton Road, Glasgow, to meet its staff and volunteers. Picture: Stewart Attwood

MSP Anne McTaggart visited a British Heart Foun-dation store in Dumbarton Road to ask shoppers their views on an opt-out system, for which she is campaigning.

The politician is one of dozens of MSPs backing the Evening Times' Opt for Life campaign to change Scotland's transplant system.

She plans to lodge a parliamentary bill calling for an opt-out system, where the default position is that everyone is a donor. Under the system, the public will for the first time, have the legal right to record a 'yes' or 'no' decision about donation.

It is thought that the change will lead to a drop in family refusal rates - one of the major barriers to donation.

At the end of her 12-week consultation she will present her findings.

Ms McTaggart said: "I will be taking information throughout Scotland, into community centres, cafes, shops as part of this consultation.

"The aim is really just to get people to sign up, think about it and talk about what they want in terms of organ donation. I want to raise the profile of the issue itself and let it become a conversation within people's households."

"It's a better system as it takes the onus off your family members.

"They don't have the stress of wondering what your opinion was and it enables people to still have the choice.

"People don't need to donate all their organs, or any if they don't want to."

David McColgan, policy manager at British Heart Foundation Scotland said the charity supports Ms McTaggart's work. Along with other charities such as the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Kidney Research UK, they have helped to push for the change to an opt-out system.

Mr McColgan said: "We are looking for ways to increase the chances of more organs becoming available as right now in the UK, three people a day die waiting for an organ.

"One of the biggest barriers to organ donation is communication.

"It's something that touches everyone and I would encourage everyone to think about it."

It comes as figures show that the last financial year was a "record year" for organ donation and transplantation.

In 2013/14 there were 4655 transplants carried out in the UK - 10% up on the year before.

However NHS Blood and Transplant warned that family refusal rates remain "stubbornly low".

Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.


Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email
A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

Italian at Osteria Del Tempo Perso, a Rox party and Karen Dunbar at Aye Write!




Gail’s Gab

Gail’s Gab

Gail Sheridan is a mother-of-one and wife to Tommy and she likes to get political with the hot topic of the week in her column Gail’s Gab.

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

The secret is out, get out that red swimsuit as I’m sharing a stage with the Hoff

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.