Consultation on increasing donor numbers

People are being asked to give their views on a consultation on tissue and organ donation. Pic: Rob McDougall.

People are being asked to give their views on a consultation on tissue and organ donation. Pic: Rob McDougall.

People across Scotland are being asked to give their views on organ and tissue donation, including the introduction of a potential soft opt out system.

The 14-week consultation is looking for views on increasing the number of organ and tissue donors.

The key points explored in the consultation are: Whether Scotland should move to a soft opt out – or deemed authorisation – system of donation. This would allow organ and/or tissue donation to proceed when a person dies in hospital unless they had ‘opted out’ via the NHS Organ Donor Register or had told their family they did not wish to donate.

And whether clinicians in Scotland should be given guidance to encourage them to refer potential organ or tissue donors to specialist donor staff, so that the possibility of donation can be explored at an earlier opportunity.

Aileen Campbell, public health and sport minister, said: “This year, there have been 85 deceased organ donors in the eight months since April, compared to 60 over the same period last year.

“However, there is more we can do for those who are still waiting for a transplant and it’s essential that we make sure we’re doing all we can. That is why we are launching this consultation.

“I am keen to hear views on these proposals and the others included in this consultation and would encourage people to respond to the questions we have raised.”

Dr Iain Macleod, Scotland’s lead clinician for organ donation, said: “As a doctor working in the Intensive Care Unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary I know how sensitive and challenging organ donation can be. However, I also know how important donation is in saving and transforming the lives of hundreds of transplant recipients in Scotland every year.”

BMA Scotland has also welcomed the consultation. Dr Sue Robertson, a renal physician and member of the BMA’s Scottish Council, said: “We believe that genuine choice over organ donation can be facilitated through a soft opt-out system. If properly implemented, an opt-out system could save or transform peoples’ lives.”

She added: “We look forward to contributing to this important consultation.”

The consultation will run from 7 December 2016 to 14 March 2017. To give your views: Click here to visit site