Labour’s shadow health minister and north MSP, David Stewart, has backed the general principles of a new Bill which would introduce a ‘soft opt-out’ system for organ donation.
At present, people must opt in to the system to donate their organs for transplants after they die. Under the proposals published at the Scottish Parliament, it will be assumed people were in favour of donation unless they have stated otherwise.
A total of 107 MSPs backed the move.
Mr Stewart, who represents the Highlands and Islands, described the legislation as ‘crucial’, asking: “How do we raise the level of organ donations in Scotland to match the needs of those desperately awaiting transplantation?”
He explained that 426 patients died in the UK whilst on the transplant list or within one year of removal from the list in 2018.
The purpose of the Bill is to encourage those who support organ donation but haven’t registered on the Organ Donation Register, in order to have their wishes respected.
Mr Stewart said: “This is a vitally important piece of legislation which will improve Scotland’s position in international league of organ donation and will literally be a matter of life and death for many Scots, like my friend Gary – desperately in need of a life-saving organ donation.”