Committee Updates November 2015

Transplantation (Authorisation of Removal of Organs etc.) (Scotland) Bill

The Health and Medical Law committee submitted its written evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee on the above bill.  Whilst not commenting on the policy intention to create a soft opt-out system for organ donation, where a deceased person is deemed to consent to organ donation unless they have expressly opted out, the committee highlighted the need for clear and transparent proposals and the need for information to be available to those considering organ donation which would promote reflection and discussion with their family.  The committee also highlighted their support for a person to appoint a proxy to make a decision on organ removal on their behalf after their death - however they thought it would be wise to revisit the idea that a proxy does not need to know they have been appointed as such, so as to allow for the most informed decision as possible and to avoid the proxy having to perhaps ‘second guess’ the wishes of the deceased.  The committee also highlights its belief that the age limit for presumed organ donation should be set at 18 – highlighting capacity of young persons and alignment with the Welsh legislation, particularly where a person dies in Scotland but is ordinarily resident in another jurisdiction operating an opt-out system. 

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