27 Feb 2016

Organ Donation Scandal

The Scottish Parliament recently had the opportunity to consider a change to the law which would have allowed a “soft opt out” system for organ donation. A soft opt out allows people to say they don’t want their organs donated after death, otherwise they can be used. It’s estimated that in Scotland hundred of lives each year could be saved. The Bill was defeated by just three votes. The scandalous issue was that 24 SNP members, including George Adam, voted against the Bill, despite signing a motion in favour of such a system. The SNP Government claims to support the principle and yet all we were doing at Stage 1, when the Bill was defeated, was voting on whether we agreed with the principle. If the SNP felt the Bill wasn’t adequate, changes could have been made at Stage 2 when the details are considered, after all the Scottish Government has done this with other Bills. The suspicion is, shockingly, that the SNP voted against because it was introduced by a Labour MSP and they wanted to introduce a Bill themselves at a later date, even though lives will be lost in the meantime. The evidence for this comes from an SNP backbencher who actually voted for the Bill, against his own Government. He tweeted that some on the SNP benches were put off because Labour MSP Jackie Baillie closed the debate. This is disgraceful. The Daily Record recently carried a moving article from the husband of someone who suffers from cystic fibrosis and who at some point may require a lung transplant. He makes it clear he is not a Labour supporter. He cannot understand why the SNP played party politics with the lives of people desperately needing an organ transplant. This episode marked a new low in the Scottish Parliament. Shame on the SNP and shame on the Scottish Parliament for allowing party interests to come before the interests of the public. It’s decisions like this that make me relieved that after May, I won’t have to be part of such a cruel charade.