13 Jan 2015

I'm backing proposed opt-out organ donation scheme

I’m backing my colleague Anne McTaggart’s proposed Organ Donation (Scotland) Bill which would shake up the current system and automatically sign people up to be organ donors unless they had already declared to opt out. I’ve carried my donor card for more than 11 years and I believe many more thousands of people would be willing to do the same but haven’t got around to signing up for one. We know that organ donors can save lives. Unfortunately, many people think about signing up but for one reason or another don’t and the need for organs gets greater. Many lives could be saved if people have to opt out rather than opt in and I would urge everyone to think very seriously about supporting the whole concept of an opt-out donor scheme here in Scotland. No-one will be forced to donate their organs and there will be many safeguards built in and anyone can opt out of the scheme. We have to be clear, however, that people lose their lives waiting on a transplant and we can all make a difference. By signing up for organ donation, we can perhaps change the life of someone who is desperately waiting on that call to say a transplant is available. I’ve met heartbroken families whose lives have been devastated when a loved one died waiting for a transplant. Too many lives are being lost. I have also met many people whose lives have been transformed by a transplant. That is why I am backing this change.