Scottish Government to ‘consider’ opt-out organ donation despite rejection by Parliament

The Scottish Parliament has voted to reject taking forward the Transplantation Bill which would have introduced an ‘opt-out’ system of organ donation.

Humanist Society Scotland had previously given evidence to the Health and Sport Committee when we highlighted our support for the Bill given the evidence from other countries where it has dramatically increased the number of organs available for transplant.

The Transplantation Bill was brought forward as a members’ Bill by  Anne McTaggart MSP.

On 29th January the Health and Sport Committee released its report, where they backed the principle of the Bill but concluded that McTaggart’s Bill was flawed.

On Tuesday 9th February MSPs voted 59 to 56 to reject the Bill, and so it now falls.

Despite this rejection Scottish Government Minster Maureen Watt MSP said that a “workable” opt-out system should be considered, calling on the government to “commence work in preparation for a detailed consultation” during the next parliament.

Responding to this new Gary McLelland, HSS Head of Communications and Public Affairs, said:
“This is a very disappointing result. HSS worked hard to support this Bill, in the face of opposition from religious leaders, because the evidence clearly supports a move to an opt-out system.

“The Scottish Parliament has just voted to reject a measure which has seen a massive increase in the availability of viable organs.

“Despite this disappointing result, we are encouraged by the remarks of the Health Minister, and will continue to push for a reform of this system.”

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