THE failure to back the bill to introduce and Opt Out organ donation system is a wasted opportunity to save lives.

For Maureen Watt, Health Minister, to state she is in favour of opt out in principle and then vote against the general principles of a Bill to bring it about is illogical.

To then state the government will bring its own bill next year smacks of a politically motivated decision and a stubborn refusal to back a member’s bill from a rival party.

If Ms Watt has concerns about the bill she should state them and then seek to have them addressed during the proper parliamentary process, like many of her own party’s backbenchers argued.

Instead, to wait to reach the same conclusion as could have been achieved within months, people waiting desperately on a transplant list will have to wait until 2017 at the very earliest before the whole process begins again.

It could take a further two years before it becomes law and the chance to increase the availability of donors is realised.

Hundreds of people will die in that time.

Maureen Watt and others who backed the Opt for Life campaign and who signed a motion in support by Humza Yousaf, who himself voted against the Bill, might want to explain to those patients and their families why they must wait.

The Evening Times is deeply disappointed that many MSPs who publicly backed the campaign chose to strangle this bill at the first opportunity instead of improve it.

The SNP must now be true their word and immediately start work on the promised consultation and bring a Government Bill at the earliest opportunity.

In the meantime the Evening Times will continue to fight for a change in the law for those who need a transplant.