In November 2015, Humanist Society Scotland announced its support for a ‘soft opt-out’ system of organ donation in Scotland.

Scotland currently operates an opt-in organ donation system where a person has to register their consent to donate their organs in the event of their death. A ‘soft opt-out’ system (in addition to the current opt-in system) would, suggest the British Medical Association, . Under an opt-out system there would be a presumption in favour of consent for organ donation unless a person had registered an objection in advance.

An opt-in proposal was introduced in Wales in 2013, and is due to come into effect next month. The British Medical Association (which supports soft opt-out in principle) expects this to increase the number of organs available for donation.

Public opinion is clearly in favour of a change to soft opt-in. A 2012 poll in Wales found 63% of people in favour of a change. A more recent Scottish poll from September 2015 found majority support for the change.

‘Dozens’ of lives have been saved since the introduction of the opt-out system in Wales, according to the Welsh Government.

In July 2016, Labour MSP Mark Griffin outlined his support

In July 2016, Labour MSP Mark Griffin outlined his support

In July 2016, Labour MSP Mark Griffin announced that he wishes to introduce a Bill to reform the law in this way.

Image Courtesy: Global Panorama, Creative Commons.

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