Most Scots opt to donate their organs

Over half of Scotland’s population say they want to donate their organs after death – under the current opt-in system.

Scotland beats the national average for organ pledges, with 50.4 per cent on the voluntary register, compared to 38 per cent in the rest of the UK.

It comes as politicians back changing the system to an ‘opt-out’ regime where people would be automatically included.

Staff praised

Marc Clancy, a consultant transplant surgeon, praised staff who work in the area and noted the public information campaign promoting organ donation.

The SNP’s Jeane Freeman, who serves as Health Secretary for the Scottish Government, said it was an “excellent result”.

However, the Holyrood Government has already brought forward legislation to introduce an opt-out scheme.

No evidence

The Westminster Government is supporting a backbencher’s Bill on the issue and Wales has already introduced a presumed consent scheme.

There is no evidence the Cardiff-backed plan is having a positive effect on donations.

Earlier this year, NHS experts warned ‘opt-out’ organ donation will not necessarily result in more donors.

‘Undermine trust’

And in February, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics said there is good evidence that a range of other factors – such as encouraging family discussion – increase the rate of donation.

But Nuffield’s Director warned, “we are concerned that making a legislative change based on poor evidence risks undermining public trust in the organ donation system, and could have serious consequences for rates of organ donation”.

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