January 2016

In addition to the work highlighted below, we also submitted evidence on the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Bill and the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Bill.  We also submitted stage 1 briefing on the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill and the charity law sub-committee responded to an OSCR consultation on its draft Charity Trustee Guidance.  Full information on all of these and more on our website.

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

Convener of our health and medical law committee Alison Britton gave oral evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee on 1 December.  While we are not in a position to comment on the policy merits of changing the organ donation system to a ‘soft opt-out’ system, we recognise the aim of the Bill which is to increase the amount of organs available for donation, and there is a pattern of evidence which suggests that countries with a soft opt-out system have higher rates of organ donation.   We also highlighted that while supportive of the proposal for a person to be able to appoint a proxy to make the decision on organ donation, that the Bill does not make it a requirement that the proxy either consents to or needs to be aware of their appointment.  We suggest that effective proxy decision making can only be made where the proxy has a clear idea of what the individual would have wished. 

Our full written evidence and link to the oral evidence session is on our website