Views Wanted On Organ Donation

MSPs have issued a call for views on whether the law should be changed to introduce an opt-out system for organ donation.

Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has introduced a Member's Bill that seeks to tackle a shortage of organs by moving from the current system in which people have to opt in by joining the donor register to a ''soft'' opt-out approach.

If passed, the legislation would mean that a person's organs and tissue would be available for transplant unless there is specific instruction to the contrary.

Holyrood's Health and Sport Committee is currently considering the Transplantation (Authorisation of Removal of Organs etc.) (Scotland) Bill.

Members want to hear views from the public, particularly those who have had personal experience of the current transplant system.

Committee convener Duncan McNeil MSP said: "I'm sure everyone would agree that people dying whilst waiting on a transplant is such a tragic waste of life. Organ donation has transformed people's lives and the lives of their families.

"But of course for someone to receive good news another family has had to go through a devastating experience, so these conversations are never easy or straight forward.

"But it is the job of this committee to hear from the experts, gather evidence and to scrutinise how these proposals would change the current system.''

The Bill would also give adults the option of nominating a proxy to make a decision about authorisation on their behalf.

Legislation has been passed in Wales to adopt an opt-out system from December 2015 but the Scottish Government has said it is not convinced of a need to change the law.

Members of the public are being asked to give their view by writing to the committee or completing an online survey available at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/OrganDonationScotlandBill.

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