MOVES to change Scotland's transplant system have taken a major step forward.
A consultation will be launched today calling for an opt-out system to help increase the number of donor organs available and save more lives.
British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland, the British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland, the British Liver Trust and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust are some of the organisations welcoming the proposed Member's Bill put forward by Glasgow MSP Anne McTaggart.
It comes on the back of a petition put forward by the Evening Times for a change in the law - which was backed by a majority of MSPs in Parliament - as part of our four-year campaign.
The proposed Organ and Tissue Donation (Scotland) Bill, if successful, would change the current opt-in system of organ donation in Scotland to a soft-opt out.
This would mean that, unless a person expressly states they do not want to donate their organs in the event of their death, or their family was aware of any objection, the default position would be to donate.
Campaigners say the system will encourage more people to speak to those closest to them about their wishes and will better reflect the wishes of the deceased.
Ms McTaggart said: "I believe the strong evidence in favour of reform will secure broad support for my proposal to adopt an opt-out system of organ donation in Scotland.
"With this reform we could truly tackle the shortage of organs available for transplant in Scotland, which would ultimately save lives."
The consultation will last for 12 weeks, following which responses will be analysed.
Marjory Burns, director of BHF Scotland, says: "About 7000 people in the UK are waiting for an organ transplant. Every day, lives are lost because there are not enough donor organs available.
"This consultation will give everyone a chance to discuss this vitally important issue and share their views about the system they would like to see in Scotland. We would urge people to get involved and support this proposal."
Also supporting the consultation are the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, South East of Scotland Kidney Patients' Association, the Royal College Of Physicians Of Edinburgh and the Scottish Kidney Federation.
To take part in the consultation see the website: www.annemctaggart.co.uk/