Big increase in organ donations

A SIGNIFICANT increase in the number of Scots donating organs has been welcomed by health professionals.

Dr Sue Robertson, a member of the BMA’s Scottish Council and a renal physician, said: “BMA Scotland is delighted that there has been a 74 per cent increase in Scots donating organs since recommendations were set by the Organ Donation Taskforce in 2008.

“However, we agree with the chair of the Organ Donation Taskforce, Elisabeth Buggins, that more can be done and more lives can be saved.

“Last year the BMA issued a report, ‘Building on Progress: Where next for organ donation policy in the UK?’ that considered other options to increase organ donation. The report concluded that the best way forward for the UK was to introduce an opt-out system with safeguards, otherwise known as a ‘soft opt out system’.

Unless an individual had registered an objection to donating their organs, or their family was aware of any objection, the default position would be to donate. Creating this kind of system would allow the wishes of the individual to be taken into account and would increase further the number of organs available for transplant.