It was deeply disappointing to see the SNP Government vote down my Bill today at Stage 1 last night. For me, the Government’s ‘reasoned’ amendment was nothing of the sort. If they really believe in ‘soft opt-out’, then they should have voted in favour of my Bill today. Similarly, if the Government was serious about introducing ‘soft opt-out’, then they should have taken the opportunity to table amendments at Stage 2 and Stage 3, in accordance with parliamentary procedure. I find it staggering that over 200 amendments to the Land Reform Bill have already been lodged, yet the Government find my relatively short and less complex Bill, unamendable.
NHS Blood and Transplant have stated that moving to ‘soft opt-out’ would have resulted in 70 extra organ donors annually, which could have saved hundreds of lives every year. The current SNP Government has been in power for 9 years and in all this time, has not brought forward any legislation that would’ve implemented opt-out, whilst some countries have been operating successful opt-out systems for decades.
However, while I’m sceptical of the Government’s commitments on this issue, I sincerely hope that Scotland will soon adopt opt-out.
Scottish Labour will not simply give up on this on the back of a vague commitment from the SNP Government. We will continue to speak up for those people for whom opt-out represents a life-saving opportunity, and ensure that the Government keep their word.
You can see a list of those MSP’s who voted for the Scottish Government’s wrecking amendment here: Organ Donation Voting Record