October 2014

Proposed Organ and Tissue Donation (Scotland) Bill

The health and medical law committee responded to Ann McTaggart MSP’s proposed bill on organ and tissue donation.  The proposed measures would reverse the current law where a person has to expressly opt in to the system, to one where a person would be deemed to have opted in to organ donation unless they had expressly opted out.  The Society’s response centres around the need for clarity and a high profile publicity campaign and warned that this new system could have the potential to lead to conflict between clinicians and family members, who may be opposed to organ donation or severely distressed.  The committee agrees with the proposal that automatic opt in should take effect at 16 years of age, and that those between the ages of 12 and 16 will retain their right to authorise transplantation under the Human Tissue Act 2006. 

The full response will be available here on 02 October.