MSPs consider opt-out bid for organ donation

MSPs will consider if Scotland should move towards an opt-out transplant system, as the campaign for change moves forward.

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MSPs consider opt-out  bid for organ donation
MSPs consider opt-out bid for organ donation

The Evening Times' petition calling for a change in the country's transplant laws will be discussed tomorrow at the Scottish Parliament.

A panel of MSPs will decide if the petition goes forward to the next stage to potentially introduce new legislation.

The committee will consider responses to the petition from Scottish health boards, the British Medical Association, the Scottish Government and transplant experts.

Labour MSP Drew Smith has vowed to bring forward legislation if the Scottish government does not act.

Earlier this month North-ern Ireland's government backed proposals for an opt-out system with the launch of a consultation.

The Welsh Government completed its consultation on organ donation last month.

It is now proposing to introduce a system of pres-umed consent in 2015.

Under an opt-out system, people are automatically presumed to have given consent for their organs to be donated after their death, unless they have indicated that they wish to opt out.

In its response to the Evening Times' petition NHS Blood and Transplant and the British Transplantation Society said it was supportive of any approach which, "encouraged the public to make a decision and discuss their donation wishes with family".

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said the introduction of an opt-out system would depend on the level of public support for such a change in Scotland.

The health board said a new campaign which is aimed at encouraging relatives to make their wishes known to loved ones had, "as yet, not been successful in increasing the level of organ donation" within the board area.

In December, the Evening Times made the case for a change in the country's transplant laws at the Public Petitions Committee.

Committee convener David Stewart praised the campaign after hearing evidence from editor Tony Carlin.

The committee can opt to continue the petition and seek further evidence from organisations or refer the petition to the Health and Sport Committee.

It may also decide to close the petition.

Around 18,000 people have signed our petition calling for a change in the law.

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