***EVENING TIMES ARTICLE – 23RD SEPTEMBER 2015***
The majority of Scots would back a move to an automatic organ donor register to help save more lives, according to new research.
An online poll found that 55% were in favour of a move to a ‘soft’ opt-out system, where consent is assumed unless individuals register an objection.
Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart is driving forward a bill calling for the change on the back of the Evening Times’ Opt for Life campaign.
More than 500 people are currently waiting for a transplant in Scotland.
Figures released earlier this year shows that donation rates fell by 3% in Scotland, with 5% less people receiving a transplant.
Major charities including the British Heart Foundation believe the change has the potential to increase the number of life-saving transplants carried out.
An online poll carried out by the Evening Times showed that 55% of readers were in favour, with 45% against. A total of 535 readers took part.
Ms McTaggart said: “I’m pleased to see that a clear majority of Evening Times readers support my proposals to introduce a ‘soft opt-out’ system of organ donation in Scotland.
“While I have applauded the work the Scottish Government has done in increasing the number of people registered on the organ donation register in Scotland in recent years, the truth is that Scotland is now the worst performing part of the UK in terms of donation rates.
“For me the bottom line is that our current situation is not working; three people die every single day across the UK in need of a transplant. The available evidence shows that this move would help save these lives. Wales are introducing a ‘soft opt-out’ system in December and other countries around the world have been operating this system for decades.
“It’s about time Scotland did the same.
“I’m grateful for the continued support of the Evening Times #OptForLife campaign and look forward to making the positive, progressive case for change at the Scottish Parliament in the near future.”
The head of organ transplantation for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Marc Clancy, has said that a change to an opt-out policy would help normalise organ donation.
On December 1 Wales will switch to a ‘soft’ opt-out system, which means that families are consulted about the final decision.