AFTER years of campaigning by the Evening Times, major charities and transplant patients and a Labour bill that was rejected by the SNP in 2016, it is finally going to happen.

Scotland will follow Wales and dozens of other European countries and introduce an opt-out system of organ donation, whereby those who wish to become an organ donor after death will not be required to sign up to the national register.

It is hoped that the change will not only increase the number of organs available for transplant but help normalise the act of organ donation. It is right though, that the views of those who don’t wish to donate are respected and under any system it is absolutely crucial that family are aware of wishes.

Read more: Victory as opt-out transplant law is passed at Holyrood 

As Joe Fitzpatrick, Public Health Minister, put it yesterday: “There is no one answer to increasing organ and tissue donation.” However the decision sends out a very positive message that the Scottish Government is prepared to do everything in its power to try to save the lives of more people desperately waiting for a transplant.

People like Anders Gibson, from Glasgow, a Cystic Fibrosis sufferer whose life was cut tragically short at 35 and who was referenced yesterday by his friend, Liberal Democrat MSP, Alex Cole-Hamilton.

I interviewed Anders several times as he waited - hopefully - for a lung transplant.

Read more: 'Urgent shortage' of black and ethnic minority organ donors 

By the time he got the call to say a match had been found his health had deteriorated drastically and the donation was not a success but before his death he wrote about the significance of organ donation.

He said: “No matter who you are, how popular, unpopular, famous or not, you will influence someone and that will make a change.

“Like donating your organs. There is no bigger influence or bigger change you can make to someone’s life.”