Scotland’s new opt-out law for organ donation comes into force today, which it is hoped will lead to an increase in the numbers of transplants.

Under the legislation, if an adult does not state that they don’t want to be a donor, they will be deemed to have authorised donation for the purposes of transplantation.

The rules are subject to the safeguards which seek to ensure that donation will not go ahead where it would be against the person’s wishes.

Families will be consulted about their loved one’s views before a donation proceeds.

There are also protections in place for certain groups. The new law does not apply to anyone under 16 years old, adults who lack the capacity to understand the new law or adults who have lived in Scotland for less than 12 months before their death.

People in these groups are able to donate if they want to but donation can only go ahead with explicit authorisation – either from themselves or their family.

Last night Scots celebrities urged people to have conversations about organ donation.

Comedian and actor Sanjeev Kohli said: “Donate your organs! Why wouldn’t you? What were you planning to do with them?

“I have a lovely set of pink lungs and I want someone else to get the benefit.

“If like me you want to donate, or you wish to opt out, make your decision known. Tell the NHS Organ Donor Register, or tell the family. And you can make a difference when you’re gone.”

Actress Leah MacRae commented: ““This is a campaign that is very close to my heart, as one of my closest friends was the recipient of a double lung transplant.

“She has used those lungs to travel places she never could before, to run about with her friends and their children, and do simple things like go for a walk or ride a bike.

“When it comes to organ and tissue donation, it is an entirely personal decision and everyone has their reasons for whatever their choice may be.

“But it’s really important to share that decision. Organ donation saved someone I love when she was very close to death, and I hope the law continues to help save and improve lives. It is the greatest gift one human can give to another.”

In addition to the opt-out law, innovative technology and increasing living kidney donation are central to a new five-year-plan to increase numbers of organ transplants in Scotland.

Public Health Minister Mairi Gougeon said: “Despite the progress we’ve made over the last decade or so on donation and transplantation, there are around 500 people waiting for an organ transplant at any one time in Scotland.

“It’s important that we do all we can to help save and improve the lives of those on the waiting list.

“The opt-out system means that if a person dies in circumstances where they can donate and they haven’t opted out of donation, it will be considered that they were willing to donate.

“We want everyone in Scotland to understand what this change means for them. Donation remains a personal decision and we’re encouraging people to make the choice that’s right for them – whether that’s to be a donor or not.”

Transplant News Sharing // “Lung Transplants” – Google News from Source www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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