GLASGOW MSP Anne McTaggart will today seek support from politicians for a change to Scotland's transplant laws which aims to help save more lives.


The Labour politician wants to bring in legislation to introduce an opt-out transplant system, whereby everyone is considered a donor but the right to say no is respected.

The Evening Times has led a three-year campaign calling for the change  with all the necessary safeguards built in to protect those who do not wish to take part.

The British Heart Foundation say too many lives are being lost under the current system where people have to register to donate.

The launch of the Organ Donation (Scotland) Bill.follows a four month consultation period, when 529 people and 30 organisations gave their views on the proposed legislation.

A total of 80% of individuals indicated their support for the change.

Scottish Government evidence shows that while only 5% of the population oppose organ donation in principle, around 41% of people are registered as organ donors.

Ms McTaggart's proposals would mean that unless an adult had expressed an objection and 'opted-out' of the organ donation register, then their organ and tissue could be removed posthumously.

The Glasgow MSP will now have a month to gather signatures of support from 18 of her fellow MSPs from at least half of the other parties in the Scottish Parliament.

She said: "I'm proud to be able to lodge my proposed Bill today and will now seek to gain support from across the Scottish Parliament for my proposals.

"The current system of organ donation has been the subject of much debate for a number of years, due in no small part to the fact that the UK has one of the lowest organ donation rates in Europe.

"The truth is that people just don't get round to putting their names on the organ donation register, and this results in the deaths of three people every day across the UK. I've met too many heartbroken families to let this needless loss of life continue."

"For me, it's important that those who object still have the opportunity to opt-out and I strongly believe that the family should be consulted at the time of death to establish any objection of the deceased that had not been registered."

The British Medical Association and charities including the British Heart Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust are all in favour of the change. Many doctors involved in transplants are also privately in favour.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously said she was "open" to the the idea of an opt-out system when she was health secretary in 2011.

The Scottish Government has said it is waiting for an evaluation of the Welsh system before decided whether to make a similar change.